May 23, 2011

For Some Odd Reason (pt. 9)

Ratchet was in a cruel bind. Well, to be perfectly honest, she was just tired of flying around. It was probably something to do with her hat, whose name the author has now forgotten. Still, she was tired, and, for whatever reason, she decided she'd really love to run at this particular point in time. For this reason, her hat, whose name, again, the author can't remember, let go.

Consequently, she fell. Gravity, of course, wasn't particularly on the ball at this point in space, but it has this unpleasant habit of becoming more important the more you pay attention to it. Therefore, because Ratchet began to fall, her observance of whatever pysical laws dictate or explain gravity began to heighten rather speedily.

In short, she fell faster. By the time she reentered Earth's atmosphere, she was practically fully aware of the reality of gravity. One would be quite correct, therefore, to conjecture that Ratchet plummeted. She practically descended with incredible speed, even!

However, as Ratchet fell closer and closer to the planet's surface, a sudden realization came upon her. If she were to name her hat once, in the rather odious face of disaster, what in the world would prevent her from renaming her hat a second time in a situation of similarly uncool disaster?

(The reader should be aware, at this time, that the author is using all his cleverness and a bit of what he'd have to call cheatyness, for lack of a more authentic word, in order to render this story sound in some small way.)

"NINETEEN!" she screamed, as ozone whistled past her, nitrogen threatened to remove her skin, and oxygen failed to play any significant role, positive or negative. With a uncanny screeching sound, Nineteen careened onto her head, and, at the last second, allowed her some abstinence from obliteration. Unfortunately, the last second was constituted by a stretch of rather a lot of feet, and a couple miles to boot.

Should scientist, mathematician make it this far in the story and prove, somehow, that, at one second from impact, Ratchet couldn't have been this far, or this close to Earth, the author recommends respectfully that said person get a life.

Regardless, Ratchet had time to talk to her renamed hat. Its name continues to allude the author's mind, so until such time as it is remembered, both Ratchet and her hat have obviously somehow forgotten the whole Big Red Spot incident.

"Odd," Ratchet said, observing the Earth beneath. It was strange, after having gone up so speedily, to float down so pleasantly. Her unquenchable desire to run remained, but she was a patient girl. She hadn't the best vocal cords to speak of, but she could spout absolute nonsense without end should the situation require it.

The situation respectfully required exactly that.

The hat, Ratchet found, could communicate subconsciously to her. The effect, therefore, was that she found Nineteen rather displeased. She wasn't surprised, but she felt the same way. Forgetting something like that wasn't done every day.

"The Girl in the Fedora," she thought, grinning. It seemed unique. It seemed a tad clever.

Then she remembered. Cookie! Or Cook, rather. How could she forget? Save the universe. Or was it just the galaxy? How could she know what was supposed to be what? What could tell her that? How could she even trust Cook?

As if to answer, she landed. Well, to be perfectly honest, it didn't answer anything. But Ratchet was an odd type of girl, and she felt, for whatever reason, that she ought to trust Cook.

As if it were high time something got ruined, something ended, or some action came into play, a dozen thugs with muscles the size of Mars jumped her. The precise meaning of this phrase isn't exactly known to the author, but the meaning seems to be that they simultaneously, and without warning, tackled Ratchet. For this reason, Ratchet's superpowers kicked in. As she seemed to have exhibited both flight, strength, and half a dozen others the author can't remember, she decided at this juncture to turn into gas.

Therefore, it was with little reluctance that she joined a rather large club of molecules in varying degrees of closeness. It was a big club. A very big club.

Her hair was still red.


May 22, 2011


Today, on the 21st of May, the elect were scheduled to be beamed to the heavenly places, to ascend to the skies never to return. Or so Mr. Campman would have us believe. Mr. Bertilson witnessed his own watch swap from the overwhelming quantity of 23:59:59 to 00:00 mere minutes ago, missing not this unhistoric event.

He immediately leapt into the air spasmodically, gasping for breath, yelling incomprehensibly, and eventually looking rather depressed.

"It wasn't today..." he muttered bleakly, staring in odd directions. He slumped down onto a rather battered sofa and examined the insides of his eyelids. It appeared he was deep in thought. Within seconds, he leapt up, solution on the tip of his lips!

"I KNEW IT! I"M A HEATHEN!" He screamed madly. It seemed there was nothing to convince him otherwise. Eventually, though, he calmed down and said, "No...I haven't a golden calf to speak of. Not to mention this slight obsession with one particular deity," he added, thoughtfully caressing his facial hair. The situation appeared to bring the thoughtfulness out of him, but try as he might, it became difficult after midnight to appear in the slightest degree sane.

"I KNOW!" he said again, ceasing his mindless pacing for a few seconds to exercise his vocal cords. "EUREKA! YES! IT MUST BE!"

Were we seated, our rears would nearly be gone from that wondrous surface we call a chair. In short, we hung on his every word. There couldn't be a more intelligent person in, well, the house! The next words which exited his mouth were guaranteed by nature and half a dozen other aspects of our reality to be mind-numbingly brilliant.

"I must be wrong about everything! I've been reading the Bible awrong the whole of my life, every word from the mouths of my parents must have been a planted falsehood in the mouths of innocent people! There can't be another explanation!" Mr. Bertilson paced the room with a sort of methodical, rhythmic intensity. The floor quaked in synchronization with his incredible brain! His noggin could be seen visibly bulging to the rhythm of his manliest of steps! Mr. Bertilson truly thought his best when on his feet. The great brain throbbed and sparked with ideas, with conclusions! He could not be said to be anything but a thinker, on the level of such sages as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and, last but not least, Speedy Gonzales! This was his greatest moment. This was his greatest occupation! He could do nothing else better! He was...

Asleep. We found our awed silence broken by the house-shaking snoring of Mr. Bertilson. His mind still seemed to teem with activity, positively charging the air around him...furthermore, he continued to pace as if his mind were still well in control of everything.

He was dreaming. It seemed rational to us, once we got back to HQ. The brain, according to the best of scientists and most of us all, operates at significantly fuller capacity when the body is asleep. However he'd managed it, Mr. Bertilson seemed to have accessed this. He paced away the night without halt, brain well on its way to an explanation to it all.

The intensity of the whole encounter left us all rather shaken, and we retired to our beds inspired and humbled by the awesomeness that was Mr. Bertilson.


May 14, 2011

For Little Things

I just wrote this.

For Little Things

For great things was I made
not of myself,
that I would be proud

For great things was I made
not in this world
that I upheld could be

For pride, it would tear me down
for power, it would strip me bare
in small, great victories
do I find joy

For great things was I made
by men seldom praised
for only might makes right
to them

For great things was I made
by princes never upheld
for only might makes right
to them

For pride, I have enough now
for power, I need none
in small, great victories
I now am loved

For little things was I made
on this earth
pride to abandon me

For little things was I made
in this world
servant to others

Good men money never made;
Good men pride never made;
Good men power never made;
Good men for little things were made.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. I'd like to write music for it and sing it myself, but I'm not sure I'm a singer worth squat, and I don't know if I can write a tune to save my life. Gotta try, though. Sometime...


May 08, 2011

Wits End - parts zero and one

Wits End
by Noah Bertilson

The End

I was at my wits' end. Literally. That is to say, by whatever freak happenstance that calls itself fate, I was physically holding onto the very last inch of the very last strand of my also thoroughly physical wits. On the whole, the situation was unpleasant and rather bad, for lack of a better word.
This only proved my imagination was obviously completely unconnected in magnitude to my wits.

How precisely could I tell it was my wits I hung so ineffectively onto? On the whole, it seemed to me that nothing else could possibly appear so frayed and deranged than my wits did at that moment. They stretched, rather literally, up an unpleasantly long way. The tall and short of it, then, was certainly more on the tall side.

Regardless, I found myself at my wits' end. Or ends. The author can't be positive which is the correct alternative, but go boil your head. If you even care about that, you obviously care nothing for this completely purposeless narrative.

To explain the whole thing, it’s critical the reader know that mere days ago, on the 16th of March, 2011, I proposed to Emma Connor. Why I did, how I did, and what happened before, though, requires me to go rather a bit farther back, to the 21st of June, 2010. On this day, I properly met Emma. I’d seen her in class and said hi and bye on regular occasions, but to say we had a relationship of any worthwhile quality would have been flimflam. Or balderdash. Or humbug. Regardless of what, precisely, it was, it wasn’t the truth.

For whatever reason, I feel compelled at this time to remind you that I’m very likely a dead man. Not because I proposed to this fine young lady, but rather because I am, in fact, at the end of my very thoroughly NON-proverbial wits. If I were you, I’d really expect the narrative to end abruptly with an unpleasant conglomeration of randomly pressed keys assembling themselves into something not unlike what is found above.

That is, nonsense.

Still. I’m here, and, by whatever means, I’ve been given the chance to write myself an epitaph. Or something of slightly similar nature.

Still, if you are to learn, let alone enjoy, any portion of my story, I doubtless ought to hurry things along. Thus, I’ll start at the beginning. This is perhaps the least adventurous way of doing things, but it’s very frequently the best. Thus, I add to their ungodly number.

The Beginning

The reader ought to know, most likely, that this narrative isn’t intended to make oodles of sense in any era, let alone this present one. For that reason, the reader will doubtless have to surrender his reason, intellect, or sanity in order to proceed. I can’t really force you to, but what follows may shock you, it may terrify you, it may perhaps even cause you to break out into...giggles of death.

It began an unpleasant time after high school when, on the whole, life seemed to be ending. People were going off to college, other people were staying in their rather secluded households to continue school, and a select few proceeded to enjoy themselves in a horribly exclusive way. I was in the second of the three groups. Unfortunately, I’d not finished all my topics during the school year, and was thus incarcerated a few hours a day to finish the unpleasantness that remained from the year spent in study and terror.

Emma was one of the third group, unfortunately. To say I talked to her on a regular basis could reasonably be equated to saying elephants frequently hung the moon in their broom closet. On the one hand, elephants are certainly not responsible for hanging the moon anywhere, but on the other hand, it is entirely debatable as to whether elephants, in fact, do have broom closets.

The point, though, is that we didn’t really know each other. School hadn’t helped with that much, occupying us now, and then, well, occupying us later, as well. For reasons I won’t go into, I met her one day when sun was shining, when birds were singing, and all nature seemed to sing that couples were being formed by the dozen. This made me feel unpleasantly left out.

Should the reader forget, I hadn’t yet properly met Emma. I hadn’t really introduced myself, let alone gotten to know her. Still, I knew rather a lot about her. We had classes together, of course, but beyond that, I knew she was around my age, of similar political and religious conviction, and had an uncommonly strong liking for mac and cheese.
To put it simply and rather abbreviate the whole shebang, she seemed just my type. To me, love seemed only a step and a cleverly placed word away, but oh, how wrong I was.

As I ambled aimlessly through the blooming apple trees in the park, I couldn’t possibly notice, in my rather foggy mental state, that I was approaching a dip in the sidewalk, which most people would probably call a stair. However, being familiar with the area, I could confirm beyond a doubt that said step was indeed a simple dip in the sidewalk, whose original equilibrium had been upset in a rather slow manner through the course of my entire life to produce the thoroughly stair-like appearance it had now. It dipped a full six inches on weekends. Unfortunately, this was a weekday, so it had increased to a full six and one ninth inches.

Thus, I tripped.

To characterize the miss, sudden jerk out of my daydreams, and the sudden flailing of hands in a completely purposeless attempt to regain balance as anything else--well, it’d be idiotic and utterly pointless. I did, in fact, trip. Furthermore, I fell face forward onto the unblemished sidewalk before me. Were it not for the aid of an unseen passerby, I would most surely have found myself dripping nauseating red liquid from my nostrils. As it was, I escaped with a couple grazed knees and a feeling of adrenaline and a bit of fear. After a second, though, the passerby seemed unable to continue the task, and I dropped the extra couple inches to the ground and managed, somehow, to avoid fatal injury.

In mere seconds, I was back on my feet, quite ready to nervously thank my savior and continue on my walk, determined to nip daydreams in the bud.

I proceeded to miss the bud entirely. Before me stood an apparition which couldn’t possibly be real.

Emma wasn’t the type to use makeup of any type with any regularity, but her beauty, for lack of a more superlative word, was enough, on regular occasions, to cause my hands to sweat, my head to reel, and my knees to fail me.

She had hair of about shoulder length, which couldn’t exactly be called golden, blond, or anything in between. It seemed to have the sort of quality one thinks of when hazel is mentioned, but neither the word nor the color seemed to fit. It also rather bedazzled when accompanied by sufficient sunlight.

Her eyes were an odd juxtaposition of a sort of grayish green and yellowish green. The colors, on their own, failed to elicit compliment, but together they had an interesting effect whose precise quality was yet to be put to words.

Caught up as I was in attempting to describe her, I failed to converse for a few seconds in any form. My mouth also threatened to drool, which my handy palm threatened to end abruptly. No such intervention proved necessary, as my mouth forbore to drool, and initiated, instead, a semblance of noises which affected communication of some sort.

“Hullo! I’m Frank. I’m in a few of your classes,” I said, assuming the discouraging position of one attempting to remember something while simultaneously trying to keep up a conversation.

“Hi. I’m Emma. I think I’m in four of yours. You sit in the front in half of them,” she responded, smiling.

It was probably just me, but the level of her perception boggled me at the time. It was also probably unwarranted, but sometimes my life felt like that.

“Glad to meet you,” I rejoined, euphoric yet unwilling to hope.

At this point in time, it seemed prudent to gain control of my faculties. My legs seemed quite well able to manage on their own, and my hands, however sweaty and unsuited for hand-shaking, were well-placed behind my back. It seemed I might pass for an ordinary guy.

“It’s good to meet you too,” she said. It felt as if she meant it.

“Good,” I said. I limbered on somewhat unsteadily. While my legs had been well-trained throughout life to serve me well all the time, my control over them was directly proportional to my control over the rest of myself. For this reason, my legs acted as if inebriated. To be perfectly honest, I acted rather inebriated, although I had a certain unbridled caution which allowed for little of this madness within to show without.

“How many siblings do you have?” she asked, looking me in the face as we paced through over the sun-baked and shoe-battered concrete.

On this question, oddly enough, I had to think a bit. Sometimes people asked me how many there were of us, indicating our family, but didn’t really indicate whether I was to be included in said number, or whether my parents were also to be included. Emma seemed to know the trouble and head it off immediately. Nip it in the bud. Whatever that means. She’d had the sense to ask how many siblings I had, instead of something ambiguous and unpleasant, like most other people.

“Four. There’s Abby, John, me, Erin, and Joy. I’m in the middle,” I said, with a tad of pride.

It seemed rather natural, to me, feeling pride about being in the middle. There was the top, its responsibilities and unpleasantness, and then there was the bottom, whereupon one would doubtless be mocked rather mercilessly one’s whole life. The middle, on the other hand, presented an inconspicuous place in the family wherein one might perhaps remain unnoticed, enjoy some of the benefits of both sides, and have a sort of reasonless pride to boot.

I really did feel blessed, every now and then. I couldn’t fully explain it, but I figured God wouldn’t just make a place like middle of the family for nothing. I guess I felt sometimes like I was an ambassador, a person between the raging upper and lower classes, to dramatize it rather excessively.

Emma nodded. It seemed she understood.

“How about you?” I asked, as the cankering tooth of curiosity began to gnaw at me unpleasantly.

“I’m in the middle too. Unfortunately, I’ve got four siblings either side of me,” she added, an irritated edge to her voice. Her face was expressionless for a while, and then she smiled. Somehow I felt I knew what she meant.

“Hmm. I’d kill for more siblings. Well, not really kill. Well, actually, I might kill ants for more siblings. But I’d probably kill ants anyway. But my point. Yes. I’d like more,” I babbled incoherently.

“Really? Feel free to take mine,” she said, grinning, “I can’t remember their names half the time, and the other half I wish I didn’t need to.”

“While I wouldn’t mind meeting them, perhaps even knowing them, I feel your parents wouldn’t willingly hand off their children to nearly complete strangers,” I said.

“Yes. Priceless are progeny in the perception of parents,” she said, and then laughed.

I laughed with her.

Edited a bit. Thanks for reading!