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 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 1258: The Wire

At first glance, the figure was hovering in midair, more than far enough above the chasm to break every bone in his body.

The wire he was standing on could be seen in enough sections along its length to make it clear that overt magic was not involve. All in all, this was not a nearly naked man flying. It was merely a man standing on a narrow bridge.

That the bridge was perhaps only an inch wide was just a reductio ad absurdum of a more typical bridge. After all, when walking down a sidewalk, how much ground are you actually standing on? Certainly not the entire walkway width. At most, a patch the size of each foot. The rest of the sidewalk is only there to reassure you, you aren’t actually using it.

How much stage is a ballerina actually standing on when en pointe?

The toe of her shoe is not large at all, perhaps one by two inches. She doesn’t need more stage than that to stand on.

So on that scale, the inch or so diameter of the wire is plenty.

It doesn’t look that way when a chasm looms below. A chasm that hasn’t really even been fully explored, and might be effectively bottomless.

The trick, then, is to remember walking on a stage, on a sidewalk, or on a bridge. And remember that you aren’t using the rest of the space, just the bits under your feet.

Unless he falls.

So just don’t fall.

Because there is no net.


Deal 1257: Way post TSA

The room had a hard durable floor, but even so the feet of many people had etched clear pathways across it. The walls and ceilings were painted some neutral inoffensive color that was almost offensive in effect, a typical public space institutional color. THere must have been lights, but without power, they were not obvious.

The room was divided by a row of doorways standing independently across the center. At one time, people would line up to take turns to use the doorway. Which was a bit odd, considering that there were no doors.

Each doorway had a light on top, and a niche that seemed like a good place to stand alongside and watch. Also near each doorway was a huge piece of machinery with conveyor belts running in and out. Aside from those obvious features, there was little to hint at what used to flow on those belts.