POEM: Beware the Hipster

 

“Beware the Hipster”  

(inspired by Jabberwocky)

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‘Tis sunny on the day I see

the Hipster–bowler hat on head,

round Lennon glasses jauntily

perched on his nose. I nearly fled.

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“Beware the Hipster!” I’d been warned,

“-the lips that sneer, the fierce eyes that

view everything, yet also scorn

whatever thing they’re looking at.”

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He takes his cellphone well in hand,

long time the wifi here he’s sought,

to marvel at this small town’s quaint-

ness, if and when it can be bought.

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The coffee shop is where he “hangs”

–its rooms his natural habitat;

He lounges in his Vera Wangs,

entitlement of alleycat.

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He orders his speciality cup

and sits within a booth to tweet

over soy latte–bottoms up!

He contemplates his balance sheet.

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The poetry slam will soon begin,

knowing this he preps his words,

adjusts his vest, neat as a pin,

and readies himself for the herds

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of onlookers that will attend

to listen to his performance

art, anti-prose, and apprehend.

He preys upon his audience;

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he paints a picture odious,

each finely chose profanity

he picks to shock his audience

as payment for his vanity.

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One, two! One, two! His sharpened tongue

leaves all aghast! Wholesome, family

places won’t stand that kind of dung.

He won’t be back.

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“Oh, have they cast the Hipster out?

Come have some Earl Grey tea on me!

Or coffee! There will be no drought

of drinks on the house, happily!”

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‘Tis sunny on the day I see

the Hipster–bowler hat on head,

round Lennon glasses jauntily

perched on his nose. I nearly fled.

 

 

Friday Flash (Revisited): Space-time to Travel

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When Hector invented his time machine, he did not concern himself with aesthetics. He had never valued beauty over functionality, and he assumed the judges of the 54th-century’s multiversal scientific competition would share his opinion.

His chest swelled as he viewed his entry in the ‘Time-Machine of the Century’ contest, humanity’s valiant effort to embrace the insanity they had brought upon themselves. Such an event was obviously a complicated affair, but Hector knew the intricacies of traveling the multiverse. Space-travel was by definition time travel, and he crossed light-years like other fellows crossed a room.

Of course, time-travel had been around for centuries in Earth standard years, with all the predictable complications such journeying involved. After all, there’s only so many times men and women can either off their own ancestors or become their own parents before humanity’s family tree is hopelessly skewered beyond recognition. And once humanity spread beyond its own paltry region of space, cross-breeding with the debatably-intelligent life found elsewhere in the multiverse only added to their genetic confusion.

Confounded, humanity had decided their hopelessly tangled timelines (multiverse, after all) should be monitored and adjusted accordingly. Agencies had been set up, destroyed, the parents of the agencies’ founders murdered, born in alternative timelines to be transferred and mated (then murdered) again, before humanity as a whole threw up their collective hands and thought, To hell with it all, let’s just go with the flow.

And thus, Hector had found himself abducted from the distant past due to one of genetically-mangled humanity’s misguided efforts to reintroduce old-blood back into its gene-pool. The upside for Hector was that they made their scientific knowledge available to all their abductees. After being fit with a transmitter for selective telepathy, he could communicate effectively and integrated himself into future (his future) society. He was excited about his entry into this year’s contest.

You’ve been disqualified.

What? What are you talking about! I followed the rules to the letter! Color flushed Hector’s cheeks as he gazed at the little grey-green judge with the clipboard.

The judge, Bob, gazed levelly at him with bulbous eyes. He really had no choice, since his eyelids were clear. Bob was unaware of his familial connection to Hector, though he would not have been surprised; almost everyone was related to everyone else.

Well? repeated Hector. He bent down to peer into Bob’s oval face.

Bob reached out with elongated, bony fingers to hold the tentacle of his wife of three light-years, Judy Trudy. He paled at the sight of the glowering man in denim and found his plaid shirt terrifying. Judy nudged Bob encouragingly, and the little judge responded.

After the unsettling squelching and sucking sounds were over, Bob cleared his throat and thought, It does not meet the specifications, sir, for human-compatibility.

What the heck you talking ‘bout? Hector sat in the driver’s seat of the modified Chevy and activated the force-seals. I know there’s been certain errr…modifications to the species since my days, but humans still have certain basics in common, right?

That is true, thought Bob. He squeezed Judy’s tentacle, which oozed reassuringly in his bony hand.

Well, most have two hands, right? reasoned Hector, demonstrating how his hands used the steering-wheel. He made a point of not meeting Judy’s gaze.

Yes, and many have three or six, answered Bob.

Two feet is pretty common, right? Hector stepped on various pedals.

Two seems to be the preferred number of ambulatory appendages, agreed Bob.

I installed seat belts, per regulations. They would be useable by the bulk of humanity – regardless of, er, complications to their family, uh…

The seatbelts are satisfactory, agreed Bob, noting that the ancient human had not “buckled in” for safety. He climbed into the vehicle and sat in the passenger seat.

Hector’s brow furrowed as he asked the question he’d been dreading. It’s not a question of style, is it? He had not been tuned-in to the fashions of his own time and place, nevermind 54th century Camelot 470.

Bob negated this notion.

Well then, what’s the problem? He took a chance and gave Judy Trudy a worried look. She squelched at him.

This is the problem, thought Bob and sighed. Sliding into the driver’s seat, Bob bumped Hector unceremoniously out the open door and onto the floor. Hector watched Bob wiggle his tiny grey toes at least a foot above the starter pedal. In most space-timelines, thought the judge at the mystified man, the majority of humanity is my height.

*This was originally written for the six minute story site, but I cheated and edited the piece after six minutes. Also, due to life happenings (such as getting the flu for two weeks among other things), I have not created a fresh flash for this week. I felt guilty for not updating the blog, so I hope you enjoyed my humble repost from my old (and now defunct) writing blog. Have a lovely week!

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

Friday Flash: Sea Life

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The blue dress uniforms co-opted from the Navy were itchy. The sailors imprisoned within them were tired and hot and couldn’t wait for the ceremony to be over. The captain looked across the water at the setting sun. At least this would soon be over, and they’d get some respite from this day’s infernal heat. But yet…

He looked down into the cool depths of the ocean waters surrounding the metal monstrosity he had called his home for the better part of three years. The setting sun glowed gold and orange upon the waves. He shuddered.

“And do you, Mark Wallace, take this mermaid, Jasmine Petals, to be your lawfully wedded wife? In sickness and in health… forever and ever, by Neptune’s salty bits?”

The young sailor looked down at the mermaid clinging to the ship’s side, gulped, and nodded his head. The red-haired beauty in the crystal blue waters smiled in approval, exposing sharp incisors in her delicate, full-lipped mouth.

“By the eternal laws of the sea, by Neptune’s trident and Amphitrite’s coral crown,  I now pronounce you mer-man and mer-wife. The bride may now—”

With a stupendous leap, the new bride pulled her husband over the edge of the warship, dragging him along with her as she splashed into the waters below. Soon, not even the emerald green of her tail could be seen as she brought the new merman to her lair in the deep, dark waters.

The men and women shook their heads in wonder. There was a reason humans steered clear of Neptune’s children. The mermaid’s kiss might cure their fellow sailor’s cancer, but the cure might just be worse than the disease.

Captain Deadly allowed himself a rare sigh of pity for his former crewman before ordering his crew to hoist the Jolly Roger. Fresh plunder lay ahead, and he might need the gold. Who knew? In his own future, he might need to hire an oncologist.

 

*originally inspired by a photo prompt from Six Minute Story, but has since been edited and extended. You can find the original here.

**I wrote this today, so I didn’t have time to let it simmer as much as I like before posting. Please be kind. Polite feedback is always welcome and appreciated.

****Image courtesy of BigFoto.com

Friday Flash: New Genesis

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On the first day, they programmed the terraforming equipment.
On the second, they did routine maintenance, then removed the genetically enhanced lifeforms from the ship’s stasis chambers.
On the third day, the new species were released onto the surface of the newly habitable world.
On the fourth day, the terraforming equipment malfunctioned, causing massive flooding and necessitating the immediate evacuation of the planet by the original three explorers.
On the fifth day, their craft crashed onto the surface of the planet. They re-evaluated their decision to use a robot mechanic instead of a humanoid one, once the mechanic broke down.
On the sixth day, they sent out distress signals, hoping against hope for a rescue party to retrieve them from the remote, ass-end of the galaxy.
On the seventh day, they resigned themselves to being stranded away from the civilization they had known.
Their current practical needs made them bitterly regret their precautions against corporate espionage which had caused then to shroud their mission in such secrecy. 

After a painful encounter with what had first seemed a hilarious stunt, they regretted bioengineering the platypus.

Due to relativistic time dilation, they set their still functioning stasis pods to wake them in alternating century intervals, in the vain hope that future explorers would discover their whereabouts.

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*I realize this is a departure from my regular style, but when I saw the text prompt at the six minute story site, I couldn’t resist.
*written for a text prompt at the sixminutestory site 2/24/16: They were trapped for seven days.
**Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.

Friday Flash: Tempting Fate

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Clotho inhaled, enjoying the heady aroma of roasted beans and caffeine that permeated the small coffee shop. The temptation to step inside and grab a cup was irresistable. She didn’t know if mortals could actually smell caffeine, but it gave the goddess a deep sense of satisfaction–almost like the burnt offerings humans used to offer the gods in the past. But not now. Now, if they burned her coffee? Well, she’d be pissed.

What’s the worst that could happen?

A little chime sounded on the Fate’s cell phone. In the old days, there had been an actual tiny bell that would appear and disappear, but she savored the advancements that came with the passage of time, just as she savored a good cup of joe. She also liked the little bell sound. Best of both worlds, really.

And why not? She wasn’t trapped by linear time the way mortals were, but she enjoyed watching its passage from their perspective. She sipped her coffee, sighing with pleasure. The little bell chimed again.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Long ago, she’d put a filter on the alert, only taking note of those “great ones” who tempted Fate with those fateful words. Great ones? Ha! Just another term for “more fun to mess with.” As if politicians and celebrities held more sway over the tapestry of life than she and her sisters–or even wandering beggars in the right circumstances. Just pull the right thread, snip another, and whole swathes of cloth would unravel, only to be rewoven in the pattern of their choosing.

Even the gods themselves knew not to tempt Clotho and her sisters, for while they could be generous, they also found a challenge hard to resist.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Let’s see. Buddha and Christ had both been beggars who changed the world for the better. Would she be that generous this time? She checked her notifications to see who had tempted…er, challenged her so often in the past few minutes. Upon seeing the name, she scowled and decided that perhaps this time, she and her sisters would not be kind.

She texted Atropos and Lachesis about their latest challenge. Their reply?
This will be FUN.
Clotho chuckled to herself. Two more mochaccinos suddenly appeared on the counter in front of the startled barista; the goddess grabbed the white styrofoam cups, tucked her cell back into her earth-friendly tote, and headed out the (now) automatic doors.

 

*Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.

Friday Flash: Ziggy and Helga

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The door wouldn’t open.

The yawning void of space beyond its metal barrier was nothing compared to the look on Helga’s face as she wielded the torn box he’d given her. Bits of red cellophane still clung by small pieces of tape on its cardboard surface. Lightning flashed in the depths of her eyes, her voice echoed like thunder in the small cargo bay, and her scarlet cape billowed behind her as she approached. The small room had absolutely no wind, not even a small breeze from the air-conditioning vent, but she managed to make it billow just the same.

Ziggy tried the door once more, pounding on the big red button repeatedly, but the fail-safe refused to be overridden while the ship’s AI detected life-forms within the chamber. Then again, the AI wasn’t married to Helga.  Why did he buy his anniversary gift from Hans Olof of all people? Smugglers weren’t known for their expertise in romance, but since they both were in love with strong women…Valkyries weren’t that different from princesses, were they? They both had high standards, were tough as nails, and looked great in brass bikinis.

Still, for all her bravado, no matter how short Hans fell in the romance department, his beloved was still a diplomat whose displeasure would not result in physical violence upon his person. Valkyries were not known for diplomacy. Helga was a warrior maiden, servant of Odin, and kick-ass starship pilot, so her displeasure was an altogether different matter.

“What in the name of Asgard is this?” screamed Helga in the voice that had made lesser men turn to jelly, and she threw the box with deadly aim at Zigfried. It hit the thick metal door, just to the left of his head, and left a large dent.

“You missed,” he said. What the hell was he thinking? He watched her sparkling eyes, the way her nostrils flared, her ample hips and heaving bosom. She was not a tiny woman; her presence was intimidating. Was it any wonder he had fallen for her all those years ago?

“No, I didn’t,” corrected Helga, her voice low with terrifyingly sweetness. “We vowed ‘Til Death do you part’, and I’m not done with you yet.”

Ziggy, adrenaline singing, desperately tried to control himself as he bent to pick up the shattered remnants of his substandard gift. “It’s my anniversary present to the most beautiful-”

“Cut the crap. You know what I want,” said Helga. Then, in a throaty whisper, she added, “You always know what I want.”

Holding the demolished fragments of the ancient sword, Zigfried tossed them aside for the ship’s autobots to clean later. “Fine, you know what I want too.”

“That’s right, baby,” said Helga, quickly stripping down to her brass lingerie. “I do.”

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Later, in the warm afterglow of post-coital bliss, they discussed other activities and adventures for their second honeymoon. Odin had given her two full weeks off, and they intended to make the most of it. After all, millennial anniversaries were special. Helga’s accrued vacation hours were more than enough time to visit the pleasure planets on the outer rim, as well as battle a few space-pirates along the way. What better way to spend a romantic getaway?

 

 
*Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.

Friday Flash: Holiday Pains

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Pain surged up his arms, and he wished to Hades he’d listened to the healer and not adopted those damned pets. But the holidays were a time for generosity to all lifeforms as well as celebration. Rather than see the homeless creatures euthanized, he took them in, and now those infernal humans would be the death of him. He popped a few more katha-berries, moaned as he felt the rash rapidly spread across his back, then called for the male and female. “Braaaad! Jannnnet!!” Her and her blasted mate had caused this misery; the least they could do was scratch his back.

 

*Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.