I do the things that I do not because I’m an atheist. I do the things that I do ‘cause I’m just a fucking asshole.
The mournful cry from the horn of a passing locomotive always propels me into a state of melancholy. I put the last of my belongings in my suitcase, then sat and waited for the prearranged wake-up call from the front desk. 7 a.m. strikes and the phone rings as expected. A rendition of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata played softly in my left ear. Expectedly, no one there on the other side to wish me well. To say good morning. To tell me that I’ll make it through another day. Moonlight Sonata—an excellent choice. Someone must have chosen this piece. Someone must have been there to program the recording. Someone…
The van arrived on time. A young man with a cheerful disposition greeted me—his name, Jefferey, scribbled in black marker on a paper name tag. He helped me with my suitcase and apologized for spilling the contents of my toiletry bag. He is going to be an architect one day he tells me. He looked at me with some derision when I told him that my teeth are diseased. We sat in silence for the remainder of our journey to the airport. Another mournful cry from a passing locomotive sounded in the far distance as I exited the van. Lovers embraced one another in front of terminal 1, preparing for one of their departures. Flight 5023 to Mural DELAYED flashed in red above the concierge desk.
I sat for some time on the bench in silence and thought about yesteryear. A slender gentleman within his late thirties sat nearby. He is going to Houston to finalize a business transaction. He is a nervous flier. He likes cheese scones. He likes Shakespeare. He needed to use his phone in private and didn’t come back for the coffee I had purchased for him.
Upon boarding, the captain made an announcement that we would be arriving in Mural at 1:45p.m. Later than I anticipated, but I still had time to iron my items and wash before Rosemary’s funeral later that afternoon…
Shimmering in springtime hue, the billowing bubbles appear to come from nowhere from her puckered lips. They whimsically floated past Georgie, prompting him to put the water gun down and scamper around the table with both hands held high. His eyes, always much larger than his stomach, aimed on two bubbles that had merged together in the light breeze. Georgie had no idea what it meant to have eyes larger than his stomach, but he knew that he had a remarkable ability to spot and catch the “pregies,” as his sister Patty liked to call them.
“Get it Georgie!” Patty shouted. Ma opened the screen door leading to the backyard with a jug of pink lemonade in hand, smiling at the two’s shenanigans—their old neighbour Leon Parker, also sharing the moment, feeling nostalgic watching the two interact. He flipped a burger on the grill and went back to pondering whether to include, or not to include the baste that had once upset his stomach.
“Fudgey bars!” Patty exclaimed, after hearing the first few notes play from the ice cream truck making its way down the street—causing Georgie to make long skid marks in the freshly mowed grass.
That’s the moment I thought there might be trouble. Kate and I have been in a rocky relationship since day one, but we still manage to find time to talk at each other in the mornings. This morning we had nothin’ left to say, so we put on the tube…
Confirmed reports of missing children in the city this hour. An unidentified woman seen in, in what has been described as victorian attire has been reportedly luring children to her vehicle in the guise of selling frozen treats. The vehicle is described as… a white ice cream truck. Police have been unable to yet locate the vehicle, but children have reported seeing it in the city’s west end. Call police if you spot the vehicle or see any suspicious activity.
To be continued…
C o m m e n c e m e n t
Resplendent light illuminates the track tonight
its skeleton dances in strobing light
Under the caliginous sky
they make their final descent
Hoarse screams abound
pungent smells all around
They peer through shuttered eyes
to ameliorate their darkened hearts
The C o m m e n c e m e n t
Far from the atmosphere
their spacesuits now linger near
The crimson door…
“Whataya working on, Mitch?” Mission Specialist Dubov said, startling him as he entered the centrifuge while tossing a ping pong ball up-and-down by the palm of his hand. “The crew says you’ve been a little despondent because of the new trajectory… Listen, it’ll only be another 3 days till we touchdown in the Pacific… lookin’ forward to a lap or two.”
“I’m sorry if I’m hindering spirits here, Dub, but I’m just looking for a little time away from…”
“Poetry, huh?” Dubov interrupted. “I used to write Olga poetry when we were going through tough times.” Dubov sat down at the table removing a quill pen from a nylon pouch. “The crew and I weren’t supposed to know either until we were home with our families. I’m sorry you had to find out the news from Haman… How far along was she?”
“Listen, take this pen and write Laurie in ink.” Dubov placed the pen down next to his laptop. “Whatever you’re wanting to say to her right now, may be distorted from the troubles we’ve had on this damn ship. Let’s take it slow, okay?
Oxygen level… depleting, the onboard Darwin 14X7200 communicated throughout the spacecraft.
“Mitch, the truth is, we’ve been in contact with Laurie through Houston and we’re quite aware of the communications you’ve been sending her over the last 48 hours. Now is not the time to give up goddamn it, she needs you—the crew needs you.”
“I won’t do it,” Mitch said shaking his head while preparing a chai tea in the mess hall. “They’re good people…with families.”
You’ve never cared for others Mitchel. What’s different?
Mitch fixed his stare on a binary system through the porthole—4 thousand light-years away—and for a moment thought of Laurie. He tried to rid his mind from, what it seemed like, an onslaught of deprecating language coming from Darwin. He saw the stars blink out one by one through the porthole until nothing was left but inhospitable darkness. This is nonsensical, he thought.
Moths? In seconds the porthole was awash with peppered moths frantically crawling on the outside pane.
It’s time Mitchel
“Propofol,” Chantel said. “He’ll be home before he knows it.” She took a vial from the case, filled a syringe then flicked it 3 times.
“We are well within code to administer the agent without consent if necessary,” Haman said, looking at Dubov with sudden confidence. “He’s a threat to us and a threat to himself… Once we dock at the station and make the necessary repair, we’ll initiate the anesthetic.”
“Do you think he’ll ever come to perceive his psychosis and that we need not play nice anymore?” Dubov asked.
Home is where the heart is…
Affixed, he stared at his blurred and battered reflection as rain pelted the paned glass window. Behind him, the slow, hypnotic, sound, of the tick, then the tock, from the old grandfather clock—unwavering.
A precipitous act, or perhaps in a brief moment of clarity, he toppled the wooden chair affixed to his ass onto the cold ceramic floor—his head now buoyant in a puddle of his own piss. He fixed his stare on the muddy footprints left by the 3 abductors, and with tenacity, removed the remaining rope that bound his arms.
“Laurie!?” he called out, but the rain was tumultuous and he barely made a whimper. His arms—having been repeatedly slashed by the intruders with a razor blade—buckled at the elbows under his weight. His lips, once again, tasting his own piss. He tried again.
“Lorrr?” he shouted, while using his knees and elbows in an effort to get out of his precarious position and get vertical again. Mission accomplished.
He stumbled his way down the hallway onwards to the staircase. This time alcohol-free, but still with a twist; a twisted-bloody fucking ankle. In succession and outré, the metal-framed wedding pictures from yesteryear fell from the walls smashing to the floor as he passed them by. Unfazed and determined, he pressed onwards to the stairs.
Well folks, spring has finally sprung… the radio sounded from the upstairs bedroom after brief static, Are you ready for it? Coming up at the top of the hour, meet Sandy Wilson, botanist, accomplished mother of 3, and on the best seller list: Meet your Greens—we’ll chat. [pause] I can use all the help I can get, Mel… [static]
And one more thing…
Oxygen level… depleting [laughter ensues—botanist recomposes herself]
Mitchel opened the bedroom door. A blood-soaked comforter; not so comforting. A handprint smeared across the washroom door in crimson hue. “We wish you’d turn back Mitchel,” Dubov said, sitting at the end of the bed, tossing a ping pong ball up-and-down by the palm of his hand. “There’s nothing more we can do. We’ve done everything we could to stop you, from you. But there’s something else going on in that head of yours… [he paused] the truth is Olga and I…”
Oxygen level… depleting
“Chantel’s here to administer the agent,” Dubov said changing the conversation. Her footsteps clacked on the staircase.
“It’s true?” Mitchel asked. “Laurie’s dead, too?” He again looked at the crimson door. “Now I understand why I haven’t received a response to my last enquiry.”
“Slit her wrists,” Dubov said, lowering his head and pointing to the washroom door. “Go ahead, Mitch…I understand…”
“Mitchel!” the others, now having arrived, shouted almost in unison.
He turned the handle bursting into the washroom.
They watched through the porthole, in silence, as Mitchel’s body slowly rotated, appearing smaller and smaller as he drifted farther and farther away into the cold, into the cold—dark universe.
It’s been said before: The feeling one gets after stumbling upon the Rational Reflection blog is kinda like the feeling one gets after discovering it’s raspberry, not strawberry jam you’ve brought home from the supermarket.
A lottery player’s unprecedented act of kindness on Monday has left the residents of the small town of Anim in a state of bewilderment. Margaret Grady, 74, is no stranger to regular patrons and management at the small general store at the corner of Gordon and Main. When Grady isn’t home watching old Alice reruns on TV or feeding her cat highly questionable leftovers, she can be found at the general store infuriating other customers that wearily wait behind her. Once the cashier completed checking the plethora of her lottery tickets on Monday, Grady made for the exit then reached into her right coat pocket for her keys, wherein she discovered yet another handful of unchecked tickets.
“Y’know, I was just finashin’ pumping my gas and seen her turn ‘round again.” Patron, Clarence Rutherford, 38, tells Rational Reflection news. “It was like she’d just relieved herself by takin’ a big ol’ shit.”
Rutherford tells RR news that he tried to hustle his way past Grady to pay for his gas and get back to “wherever the fuck” he was going, but the years of Grady’s apparent baked goods abuse hindered his efforts. In an unexpected turn of events, Grady stepped aside allowing Rutherford to make a last dash towards the cashier where he threw down a sum of money for the gas.
When RR news asked Grady, why the change of heart?
“He’s a fine ass.”
Editor-in-Chief – Rational Reflection
In other news:
Sorrow as the days go by
She wipes a gentle tear from her eye
Like a lone busker on the street,
warmed by the sun then chilled by the sleet
It’s time to end this cold and somber beat
shadow usually in red
Like a lone busker on the street,
I will sing you my love song
By Ignatius Rutter
Throwback Thursday: I thought it might be interesting to see if any new (or old) RR followers have anything more to add to this post. Feel free to submit as many entries as you like.
Nineteen seventy-seven: the year the Space Shuttle Enterprise soared off from the back of an airliner and launched into free flight for the very first time; the year that the Voyager 1 and 2 space probes launched from Cape Canaveral to study the solar system and eventually interstellar space; the year Elvis Presley sang “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” for the very last time; and—perhaps a little less interesting—the year Romark made an attempt to demonstrate his special “psychic” ability by blindfolding himself and driving a car through the town of Ilford—but instead made headlines by smashing into a parked police van not even twenty-five yards down the road.
Despite some of the more quirky, and perhaps forgettable events that took place during this year (the jury is still out trying to determine whether my birth was a good thing or a bad thing) we can always look back with…
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