Off You Go, Martin!

“Martin! Martin! Urgent! Get over here!” Gordon screamed into the telephone. “Get over here now!” He slammed the telephone on to the receiver.

Gordon shook his arms violently. “This is big! This is big!”

The man facing him on the other side of the desk was smiling from ear to ear. “I’m glad that you’re so glad, Gordon,” he said. “I knew you’d be happy. I knew it.”

“Happy!? By Jove, I’m ecstatic! Just wait until Martin hears what you just told me!”

“Oh, Martin’s going to love it too, I’m sure.”

“Love it!? By Jove, he’s going to be out of his socks! He’s going to be out of his drawers! His coat will be out of the window, I tell you!” Gordon cackled mightily. “Ooooh!” He rubbed his hands together and puckered his lips. “This is big, Jeremy!”

Martin burst through the door, his suit jacket flailing around as if caught in a windstorm. “What’s going on, Gordon?”

“Martin!” Gordon’s bushy eyebrows were in his hairline. “Just listen to what Jeremy just told me!”

“What’s that, Gordon?”

“Just listen!”

Jeremy stood up from the chair he had just seconds before sat down in. He patted down his shirt. He brushed off his pants. He adjusted his cuffs, one after the other. A sheepishness had overtaken him. He looked down at the floor.

“Jeremy!” Gordon was jumping up and down in the air. “Jeremy! Tell Martin what you just told me!” He looked at Martin again. “You’re going to love this, Martin! Your coat’s gonna go flying out the window!”

Martin began taking his arms out of his coat. “What is it!?” He ran over to the window.

“Ooooh, Jeremy! Jeremy! Tell him!”

Jeremy sat down again, drumming on his lap with his hands. He was smiling so hard it was impossible. “Well, Martin…” His drumming was in triple-time. Gordon began to waltz. “I was just telling Gordon here…” Gordon screamed in the highest pitch he could muster.

“Gordon! I’m trying to listen!” yelled Martin, struggling with the bolt on the window.

Jeremy continued. “I knew Gordon was going to love this. I knew it was big. I didn’t realize how big, but the way Gordon is reacting, well, I guess it’s pretty big.”

“You better believe it! You better believe it!” said Gordon.

Martin had one leg out the window.

“Step down from there, Martin! Martin!” Gordon made a flapping, beckoning gesture with his right hand.

Martin looked down at his leg, and stepped back inside. “Sorry. I was trying to listen to Jeremy and I forgot what I was doing.”

“Screw your head on, Martin! You’re going to need your head for this. You’re going to need every neuron in that beautiful brain of yours. This is going to send you flying out the window! This is going to send you into the stratosphere! You’re going to be Halley’s Comet, Martin!”

Jeremy burst forth in a loud voice. He explained to Martin exactly what he had explained to Gordon, in twice as many words and twice as fast. It all came out in a single breath, and when he was done, he collapsed on to the floor, his eyes rolling back in his head.

Martin’s coat was floating down towards the busy New York streets. Gordon’s head burst through the floor of the conference room upstairs, startling a tableful of bespectacled men. Lava poured out of his ears. Jeremy lay perfectly still on the floor, white as a sheet. His face shew unparalleled ecstasy.

Aflame in the atmosphere, Martin reached speeds immeasurable.

THE STARS MUST BE MY FRIENDS TO SHINE FOR ME

It has been night every day recently. No one walks the streets around my home. I hear cars one at a time – usually loud ones, screaming by at unimaginable speeds. I can not fathom where they are coming from, or where they are off to. It’s night time; there’s no knowing what anyone is up to.

Continue reading “THE STARS MUST BE MY FRIENDS TO SHINE FOR ME”

INTO THE WORLD OF THOMAS A. MYNER

DAY ONE

My husband stared at the familiar object in disbelief.

“Honey?” I asked, approaching him from behind. “What are you doing?”

“Something seems off about this lamp,” he said, without looking back at me. He was looking at the standing lamp that sat next to the couch in our living room. “Did you move it?” he asked.

Continue reading “INTO THE WORLD OF THOMAS A. MYNER”

Legends of Love and Luck – Chapter Five

A mysterious ship appeared on the water, approaching the docks of Green Capital. It was of a curious hexagonal design, and sailed under a flag unknown to any of the spotters at the port authority.

Legends of Love and Luck is a collaborative epic novel composed by Balckwell and Hoober, for publication on the Soup Web Zone. It is inspired by Classical Chinese Novels such as Journey to the WestRomance of the Three Kingdoms, and Bandits of the Water-Margin. Odd-numbered chapters will be composed by Balckwell, and even-numbered chapters by Hoober. We hope you enjoy the result.

Captain Shufflepuck Sails Into Town / Saint Stunk Discovers a Hullabaloo

A mysterious ship appeared on the water, approaching the docks of Green Capital. It was of a curious hexagonal design, and sailed under a flag unknown to any of the spotters at the port authority. A rowboat was sent out to reconnoitre with it in order to discover its origin as well as its purpose. In the rowboat was River Thrushing and his sister, Steam Wasping. They attached their boat to the mysterious ship. A ladder was thrown down, and they climbed aboard.

A man was awaiting them at the top, arms akimbo. This was Captain Shufflepuck. He was a burly man with perpetually sunburned pale skin. He wore a purple cap atop his head, an eyepatch over his left eye, and a great, grey, rugged coat. Beneath his misshapen moustache was a wide mouth bent into a cruel grin. River Thrushing and Steam Wasping approached him cautiously.

“My friends!” Captain Shufflepuck yelled in a booming voice, his arms spread out wide, “Welcome aboard! This is my ship, the Heophisotpopehles!”

“A fine ship, this Heophisotpopehles,” River Thrushing said, gazing around at the piles of multicoloured cloth strewn around the deck. “And where is it you are sailing from, Captain…”

“Shufflepuck! I have sailed all around the Iron Sea, my friends. Where I am from, even I can not say. Perhaps I was born of the sea! Alas, it does oft treat me as a mother may. One day scolding me, the next day providing a comforting embrace. Ah, the sea, it is my home, my mistress, my mother, my father, ah…” His words drifted away as he stared out into the great ocean.

“Just write the Isle of Ayle,” River Thrushing whispered to Steam Wasping, whose pen was wavering over the empty space next to “Origin” on a large form. “Well, Captain,” he said in a louder voice towards Shufflepuck, “what brings you to the Green Capital? Unfortunately, we can not let you dock without certain permissions, which in order to be granted require certain information…”

“My friend! I have been invited here! Were you not informed?”

“It seems not.” River Thrushing glanced at his sister, and then back at Shufflepuck. “Who was it that invited you?”

“Ah… It was a man wearing one glove too large for him, and one too small. He slouched before me, and told me, in a faint whisper, that my presence was required in the Green Capital. Of course, this was a few years ago now! I have been a little busy, ha ha!” Captain Shufflepuck’s laughter was so vigorous that it pushed him backwards a few feet.

“That sounds like Mr. Chimney…” Steam Wasping whispered.

“It does.” said River Thrushing. “And where did you meet this man?”

“It was in a dream, my friend! I remember it well. I was sailing into a land full of beautiful mermaids. They were calling to me from their rocks, and I remember that I was halfway through removing my breeches, when the man appeared before me. ‘Ah,’ I said to him, ‘We have not met before! Are you here to join in the festivities?’ He shook his head, and that was when he whispered his invitation. Of course, the dream fell apart from there, and try as I might, I have not been able to navigate my mind palace back to that delightful dream again since! Ah, but once I do my friends, once I do…”

River Thrushing cut him off. “Well, Captain, I would confirm this information with Mr. Chimney himself, but unfortunately he is out of town right now.”

“Curse my luck!” Captain Shufflepuck guffawed. “It is just like me to show up at in the right place at the wrong time! Alas, I will park my ship wherever is convenient and wait. My crew will appreciate the shore leave!” He looked around the ship, excited. The deck was entirely devoid of any crew. “And how long will I be waiting for our esteemed friend?”

“It will be within a week’s time,” River Thrushing replied. Steam Wasping opened her mouth to speak, but he nudged her with his elbow. “For the time being, you may park your ship in the dock, but unfortunately, none of your crew members will be able to disembark until we receive the proper authorization.”

“Hmm… the lads will not be happy,” said Shufflepuck, shaking his head, “but it is unavoidable. We have been at sea for many months now; one more week is but a short time to wait.”

“I am glad you understand,” said River Thrushing. “We will be off now. A pilot will be here shortly to direct your ship to a suitable docking location.” With that, River Thrushing and Steam Wasping descended the ladder and rowed back to shore.

“A queer fellow,” River Thrushing said, once they were out of earshot.

“It is not beyond Mr. Chimney’s power to employ dream summons,” said Steam Wasping. “But I wonder why he would summon such a man as that. It seems that whatever task he invited him to do would be irrelevant by now, though…”

“Perhaps he knew it would take him this long,” River Thrushing wondered aloud. “It could be that Mr. Chimney meant for him to arrive at exactly this time.”

“Do you really think so? Curious…”

“I’m just thinking out loud,” said River Thrushing. “With the recent troubles and Mr. Chimney’s disappearance, I’ve been having to think much more than usual. Perhaps I’m growing paranoid.”

“Perhaps…”

They reached the shore in silence.

    *       *       *

As Saint Stunk forded the ancient dying river of Oxun, she could percieve the disctinct smells of village life. She altered her course towards the smells, hoping to find some hospitality on this long, lonely trip. As she approached a small forest village, Boddhisatva Green Onion descended from the sky on a cloud.

“Take care, Saint Stunk!” she cried. “There is disaster in this village. I fear that a demon has hidden itself among the villagers, and is sowing great disharmony. The famous Wa Hu school of martial arts has split asunder, and its disciples are on the verge of a battle that could destroy the entire village.”

Saint Stunk nodded. “Thank you Green Onion for your gracious warning. I will be careful.”

The village was shrouded in a dense forest. Before Saint Stunk entered, she sat patiently on a stump nearby and attuned her hyper-sensitive ears to the sounds. She heard a dastardly sort of music emanating from the East, and a menacing sort of music emanating from the West. These were the chants of the newly rivalling Wa and Hu schools. The two sets of music were converging in the town square.

Saint Stunk knew of the Wa Hu school. It had been founded by Mah Ryo in ancient times. The discipline was based around impeccably timed jumps. The masters of the practice employed a flurry of dives, leaps, and flips in order to attain a favourable position against their adversaries.

When the music halted, Saint Stunk sat up and entered the village. The two factions were lined up in the village square, arranged in two long lines facing each other. The Wa clan was led by Jin Ryo, the latest in the long Ryo line. The Hu clan was led by Frivolous Jenga, who stood eight-feet tall and three inches. Jin Ryo was famous for his speed, his jumps launching him many feet into the air with no perceptible wind-up or warning. Frivolous Jenga used his long legs for powerful jumps that sent him soaring to the tops of the highest trees, from which he performed death-defying diving attacks that could crush boulders.

When Saint Stunk arrived, the two were exchanging bitter words. Saint Stunk leaned against the railing of a balcony where two older men watched the stand-off. “Not a great time to arrive in town,” one of them said.

“Seems like good timing to me,” Saint Stunk replied. She reached into her tunic and brought out a blank piece of paper. On the piece of paper, she wrote an elaborate character that neither man recognized.

Calmly, she approached Jin Ryo and Ferocious Jenga. They ceased their quibbling, and looked at her in stunned silence. She placed herself equidistant between the two combatants. Placing the paper on the ground, she whispered a single word. The paper was then picked up by a gust of wind, and sailed towards the forest. It was caught in mid-air by a phoenix, which had appeared seemingly out of nowhere. The phoenix circled the rivalling clans several times as every member stared up in awe. Then, it landed on Saint Stunk’s shoulder.

Ferocious Jenga was the first to speak. “What brings you here, Saint Stunk? This dispute is a private affair of the Wa Hu school.”

“I am not here to get in the way of any dispute,” Saint Stunk replied. “I am simply passing through on my way to the Green Capital.”

“In that case, you will find a graceful welcome at the local inn,” said Ferocious Jenga. “It is but a little ways up the street.”

“Thank you.” Saint Stunk began to walk away, phoenix still on her shoulder.

“Wait!” The squeaky voice belonged to Jin Ryo. “That phoenix… what is its significance?”

“Oh, this old thing?” Saint Stunk stroked the phoenix’s head, causing it to let out a small squawk. “Just a companion of mine.” She turned her back on the fight, and continued walking away.

Jin Ryo and Ferocious Jenga looked at each other. All of a sudden, a terrifying scream was unleashed from someone in the town square. The skin on said person’s face began to burn, dripping off their face and landing in puddles on the floor, revealing a grotesque demonic countenance underneath. The burned demon fell on their knees, writhing in pain, while their body bulged and squished, transmogrifying into a bestial shape.

But who was it? Read on to find out.

Legends of Love and Luck – Chapter Four

Xiu Wen walked through the forest in search of a certain herb that would grant her husband Hurly-Burly the speed necessary to reach the Red Capital in a certain amount of time. Suddenly, she was caught in a spider web.

Legends of Love and Luck is a collaborative epic novel composed by Balckwell and Hoober, for publication on the Soup Web Zone. It is inspired by Classical Chinese Novels such as Journey to the West, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and Bandits of the Water-Margin. Odd-numbered chapters will be composed by Balckwell, and even-numbered chapters by Hoober. We hope you enjoy the result.

Chapter Four

Xiu Wen and Distant Octopus Converge Inside the Green Onion Forest /

Infidel Carbonate and Burly-Hurly Converge Outside the GreyTown Garbage Heap

Xiu Wen walked through the forest in search of a certain herb that would grant her husband Hurly-Burly the speed necessary to reach the Red Capital in a certain amount of time. Suddenly, she was caught in a spider web. In the resulting confusion, she felt a hand reach out to grab her, and heard someone say the name “Distant Octopus.” With her renowned wits and quick mind, Xiu Wen easily deduced that the speaker was none other than her old friend, Distant Octopus.

Continue reading “Legends of Love and Luck – Chapter Four”

The Day After Tomorrow

The following is a piece of writing that I wrote almost four years ago. Thus, it may as well have been written by a different person, in a different life. Let’s agree to call it ‘fiction.’

for you, on the day after tomorrow
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It was one year ago that I received the most beautiful love letter ever written in the English language. I cherished it, and inevitably, I lost it. I remember but one of the words. That word is perhaps the most important word I have ever heard in my life. Continue reading “The Day After Tomorrow”

Crescent Dreams of Sea Breams

There were three people on the beach. Two of them were walking towards their car, chairs awkwardly tucked under their armpits, bags overflowing with towels that dragged along the ground, each wearing multiple hats and pairs of sunglasses. Three kids sat near the car. The kids had raced their parents to the car, and won. They were no longer on the beach. Continue reading “Crescent Dreams of Sea Breams”

The Soup Web is Now Real, and on Youtube

I read the classic, beautiful prose work of Xeng Diaoping, Agamemnon vs Gibbongod LIVE in front of a (dutifully silent) studio audience this week. It’s now on Youtube! I put it there. I might do this kind of video again, and there’s the possibility that I will do other kinds of videos as well. Subscribe to the channel! It will be a gorgeous experience.

Ezzy drew the art! He’s just that kind of guy. The Spaghetti Soup Collective continues to collaborate and corroborate. These times are only beginning, my friends.

Legends of Love and Luck – Chapter Three

Legends of Love and Luck is a collaborative epic novel composed by Balckwell and Hoober, for publication on the Soup Web Zone. It is inspired by Classical Chinese Novels such as Journey to the WestRomance of the Three Kingdomsand Bandits of the Water-Margin. Odd-numbered chapters will be composed by Balckwell, and even-numbered chapters by Hoober. We hope you enjoy the result. 

Continue reading “Legends of Love and Luck – Chapter Three”