A Say in Politics/Pressure

And now, a randomly generated scene …

The first, in fact, not generated by random words, but by actual events. Yesterday was weird.

I feel a disclaimer might be in order for those who know something about Australian politics:  I like the outgoing PM; I like the incoming PM. I don’t really know how to feel about the situation, apart from the mildly nauseating anger as to certain issues that were involved, however distantly (some might claim) in the outgoing PM’s departure. This scene did not spring directly from their drama. Rather, it developed from the general focus on politics.

I’ve definitely gone with a certain style here and made a few grammatical choices; I’m not sure how it’ll come across. Suggestions always welcome.

And before vanishing below the picture, I’d like to throw out a bit of admiration and respect to two incredible political women:  the one in Canberra and the one in Texas.

Phone

‘Are you going to do something? You have to!’

The numbers counted up, skewing to the right – far too much skew. The pie charts and bar graphs grew more and more complicated, the experts more excited. The ticker was in a frenzy trying to keep up; results from across the state poured into election offices to be frantically compiled and conveyed to stressed news producers. Supporters chanted and waved on respective screen quarters, cheering whenever another seat was snatched. And MacGyver’s deceitful smile on the right grew steadily more smug. On the left was Tellman, unwavering in her values and as stoic as a wronged rhinoceros, defiant to the end.

‘You are going to do something, aren’t you?’

Shannon asked again, thinking Casey too absorbed to have heard; Casey’s chair was pulled close to the screen, the volume turned high. But Casey had heard.

‘What can I do? I’ve had my say. We all have.’

For all it had been worth.

‘We are not smart enough to weed twisted creeds and falsehoods from pretty speeches. Either that or we benefit from and fund the lies. And you can do something.’

Raucous applause and self-righteous screams from five thousand voices and ten thousand hands to the right. Another seat was theirs.

‘Come on,’ Shannon urged. Shannon’s knuckles were white and cold as though touched by winter. Shannon gripped a phone tight, encouraging Tellman’s troops and firing barbed messages through the fray at MacGyver’s. It was war across the state. ‘You could take control of this. You must have thought about it.’

‘Not my call.’

‘He’ll make that same call on a million people if you don’t do it to him.’

Casey repeated listlessly. ‘Not my call.’

Shannon tried to reason with Casey. ‘It’s not like it’d take an explosion. Just one little aneurysm. No one will ever know. He deserves it.’

Casey had thought about it, of course. It was impossible not to when Casey wanted so badly to act. But what would an aneurysm solve? Tellman was still losing; she would lose. If Casey stepped up on MacGyver’s imminent victory, though the mourning period would be long, the right-hand successor would step in before MacGyver was even in the ground. Those millions souls would still suffer.

It was too late.

‘No one will know,’ Shannon was still saying, the screen focused on pasty faces at Tellman’s community headquarters, their shoulders slumped, signs dangling by their sides and lips long-since drooped and morose. ‘People will think the pressure got to him.’

The pressure. That would certainly be what got to him, if Casey had a real say.

The numbers were now skewed so far it was a wonder the television studio hadn’t toppled.

‘She’s going to congratulate him!’ Tellman took up a phone even as Shannon and a million more sent message after useless message imploring she stop. ‘Casey, please!’

But it was too late. Too late to solve this mess. Too late to save a million souls from the man who had campaigned for and by their fate.

No, not a man. It was evil who sat to the right of the television screen, whose phone now rang.

Casey’s eyes blurred with pixels, so near the television. Casey’s gut wrenched, stomach acids boiled, lungs blew cyclones into being. Casey’s heart burned.

Even as he lifted the phone to his ear and greeted his opponent with courtesy so insincere, MacGyver’s eyes widened. He winced, and touched two tentative fingers to his left temple.

He wasn’t the only one feeling the pressure.

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P.T.O.S: Syndrome, Outreach Service or Patent Society?

This is winter in Brisbane. Why is it so cold in my house in the mornings?

Time for Balderdash 🙂 Remember, no Googling until you’ve had a good guess at the answer. This one might be a little easier than some others, I think.

And now, let’s play Balderdash…

Category: Acronyms

P.T.O.S.

a) Post Trauma Oscillating Syndrome

b) Perplexed Teenagers’ Outreach Service

c) Patent and Trademark Office Society

The Pitchfork Option

And now, a randomly generated scene …

Nouns: bomber, craftsman, cucumber, patient, polo, sunshine, tyre

Adjectives: cowardly, sharp, nine, high-pitched, quickest

Verbs: compare, combine, contract

Adverb: madly

Tablets

Thunk

Mallet struck wood and the ball sailed down the field. Horses galloped, hooves tearing up grass as their riders pursued.

Another thunk and a cheer. From his armchair on the patio, Will squinted, but it was impossible to tell who had scored. Whether James or Clive, he now waved his mallet madly as his teammates thumped him on the back.

Nnnneeaaooooowww

Will’s weakened body tensed. His eyes flew skyward, raking the light cloud. The source of the propellers soon cut through the wisps. Bombers. Nine of them soared north over the estate.

A high-pitched gasp and a rattle sounded as Lottie nearly lost the tea-tray she carried.

“Are they ours?” she whispered, clutching her apron. “Theirs?”

“I’m not sure.” Will couldn’t make out the symbols on their rudders. He compared the bombers with pictures he’d seen in the papers, trying to identify them without success. On the shadowed field, the polo game had stalled, riders turning grim gazes to the sky.

To Will’s relief, the bombers flew on, taking with them their haunting shadows. Praying they’d hear of no raids on the evening news, Will collapsed back in his chair. The summer sunshine was cheerful, his friends’ laughter invigorating. He’d almost been enjoying himself, outside again after nine months.

“Nasty fright those bombers give, eh? How’s the patient?”

James, the quickest of them, was first to arrive on the patio. He sat up on the arm of Will’s chair and grabbed a cucumber sandwich.

“Fine, I suppose,” Will said with a shrug. He was alive, at least. Most who contracted tropical viruses died in a week; Will had his family’s wealth to thank for flying him home in time. “Boredom is my chief complaint.”

“There’s plenty you could do with yourself,” James declared, taking a platter of cold meats and cheese from Lottie. She was very pale; near as pale as Will. “You could paint, write poetry. Why not take up clock carving and become a master craftsman?”

“Well, I certainly have time to think about it.”

Will sipped his soup, listening to his friends’ talk of racing odds and enemy towns obliterated by their own bombers as they ate. His doctor then arrived, a signal for his friends to disperse. They left with encouraging farewells and promises to visit soon.

After he’d swallowed his medicine and his doctor went to speak with his parents, Will slowly rose, furtively checking no one was nearby. A cane to support his diminished form, with timid steps he made the short journey to the stables. He meant to return to the saddle as soon as possible now that he’d made it back to his feet. Then he’d be the one brandishing his mallet in triumph.

Ignoring his trembling limbs and the gentle sense his parents’ and doctor’s combined efforts failed to make him see as he petted her warm brow, Will had decided to saddle his mare and ride – slowly – around the back of the house when he heard a sob.

And another. Lottie was inside. All the stable hands were taking lunch. But there was definitely someone else there.

Frowning curiously, Will followed the sound to a back corner. A few massive, worn tyres were stacked there; he’d once liked jumping his mare over them. Resting a moment against the sturdy stack, he peered around them.

The young man huddled there didn’t notice his company straightaway, sniffing heavily to himself. When he realised his refuge was no longer secret he cried out and brought a pitchfork before him, levelling it at Will’s chest.

“Stay back,” he warned hoarsely, eyes very wet. “I won’t go back! You can’t make me!”

Advancing, his broad shoulder knocked a tyre askew. The stack wavered, throwing Will off balance. Feebly fumbling to catch himself, Will hit the ground, cane clattering out of reach.

“Get up and go,’ the young man ordered, desperate and frightened. “Don’t tell anyone. If you do…”

“I can’t.”

“Can’t what?”

An armchair was one thing, but Will realised he was stuck down there until someone helped him up.

“I can’t get up. You’re a deserter,” he realised with mingled pity and disdain – as much as he could feel of either with that pitchfork hovering over him. “Who are you?”

“I can’t go back,” he whispered, but eventually muttered his name. Michael.

“War’s a terrible thing,” Will agreed, thinking it best not to aggravate Michael, call him cowardly when Will would have taken his chances on the front line in exchange for his health in an instant. “But there’s still much to be thankful for. Be grateful you’re still healthy.”

“Be grateful you’re not,” Michael shot back.

“Easy!” Will exclaimed, Michael thrusting the pitchfork threateningly towards him.

“You know nothing!’

“I was there.” Despite his position, Will’s pride was hurt. “I’ve seen what war does to men.”

“How long?”

“I was taken ill barely a month after crossing the equator. They sent me home and now I’ll never be well enough to…”

“Nine times they’ve sent me back! Nine! I’ve had it!”

Eeeoooeeeooo

“No,” Michael muttered, quaking as sirens wailed. “No. They won’t take me.”

His frantic eyes bounced across the stables for inspiration. After a frantic search, they locked on Will splayed helplessly below.  Slowly, haunted by worse than shadows, his eyes burned with realisation.

Michael flipped the pitchfork and drove its wickedly sharp prongs down, aiming to cripple, pierce his own feet.

“Wait!” Will cried in alarm. “Stop!”

Michael froze, mindless resolve shattered by Will’s shout. The prongs floated tantalisingly close to Michael’s thin boots.

“Help me up and we’ll see what we can do.”

Will reached out his hand. It shook with weakness and fear for the other. What Michael must have seen for that pitchfork to even be an option… perhaps Will truly knew nothing.

“Michael.” Will tried to speak calmly as  sirens blared nearer. The pitchfork wavered in Michael’s hands. “Put that down and help me up. Help me.”

Eeeoooeeeooo

Clang

“Help me.”

Tokuji Hayakawa: CEO, Inventor or Actor

I’m away for four days (I think) and WordPress gets a new look to surprise me. Tis indeed a nice surprise, particularly after that random ad scare – in case anyone was wondering, that did turn out to be only related to my computer and was easily fixed. No time to do any real writing, so Balderdash it is… quickly, before the day ticks over. Remember, no Googling until you’ve guessed.

And now, let’s play Balderdash…

Category:  People

Tokuji Hayakawa

a) CEO of Toyota from 1983 to 1997

b) Inventor of the first mechanical pencil and founder of Sharp Electronics

c) A Kabuki actor whose original claim to fame was his role as a would-be samurai in Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurais

My Poor Dear Blog Is Now Sullied

Freaking out because SUDDENLY ADS ON MY BLOG!

Considering other WordPress bloggers don’t appear to have this problem, I am guessing this is a result of my naive attempt to download an old freeware game and what I downloaded turning out to be not a game. Thought I got rid of everything by running the antivirus program. I don’t know much, but I’m guessing it maliciously twisted itself into my code or something.

I DON’T LIKE THIS! I NEED TO GET RID OF THEM!

Unfortunately, I have no idea how. I’ll probably have to wait for sister Frannie to finish exams and beg for aid.

In the meantime, I’m so sorry. If you are seeing these ads on my blog, please be assured that I do not support any of these products/scams/etc. Please do not click on them. Hoping to have my blog cleansed in the very near future.

In other news, it seems I’m apparently not able to keep up my past habit of blogging every two days when I now finish work so late every night. I’ll try to get a couple up every week, but don’t know how regular they’ll be. I’m sure no one will mind/notice.  Also, editing again. Going through Missing Exhibit and Embraced in no particular order, hoping to tart them up a bit. Just in case there’s suddenly a prospect of representation/sale.

Hope all’s well. Just a general warning to those bloggers such as myself who are not particularly technologically savvy and rely on the aid of others and the lovely simplicity of such sites as WordPress:

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU DOWNLOAD

Top 10 Random Things I Can See In My Bedroom

Started writing haikus, but I need to get back to editing and then sleeping fairly soon after. Despite the long weekend, I’ve managed to do very little of anything useful. Instead of haikus, I shall now provide a fast list of the 10 most random things I can see in my room – my home, my writing space – in no particular order. Non-Evangelion fans may need to look up a reference or two.

10) A crochet narwhal

9) A box stuffed with writing notes from the last 12 years or so

8) Part of a spaceshuttle hanging on a picture frame

7) A Geo-front behind a collection of waving cats

6) A candle holder acting as a business card holder

5) A microphone with a charm for success hanging on it

4) A dragon’s shadow sitting on my light switch

3) Pearls draped over a wire heart

2) An iron frog

1) A cello wearing a hat