My dears, my darlings…
Does this bedpost look like a giant butt plug, or is it just me?
Twins in Death
A Tale of The Weirdo
By Brett N. Lashuay
Chapter Two: Love Lost
March 27th, 2001
Shannon and The Weirdo had been sitting in their bed, she now thought of it as theirs. He was sitting up, as she lay on the bed with him, trying not to feel foolish. He never seemed to feel or look foolish, but she felt foolish with him. He was so graceful, intelligent and powerful, she could never tell why he stayed with her here. There was something worshipful about her attitude with him, though she spent most her time trying to take him down a peg or two.
“You know I love you.” She said.
“Do I?” He asked, his bare back braced against the wind. “You’ve never said it before.”
“I know.” She had said. “But I do. I love you.”
“I love you to.” He said, his hand reaching out to touch her.
“Will you love me forever?” She asked.
“I will love you beyond death and rebirth.” He said.
“But what about forever.”
“Isn’t that forever?”
“You tell me.”
“Forever.” He said. “Always and forever.”
March 27th, 2002
Under the bush, the child wiped her eyes with her tissue and tried not to totally loose it. She knew that she had to see this to understand, these things had to be. She didn’t like it any better for knowing that but there were things to do about it now. She had a job to do, and she felt she was too little to do it. She wanted not to blubber though. She wanted to be a Big Girl. Big Girls didn’t blubber, that’s what she had been told. The tears still rolled down from her eyes though, because they knew. Her tears, traitors that they were, knew she wasn’t a Big Girl and she let out another sob. She could have done something, but she had just stood there, doing nothing. The tears, they knew better than she did, she had let a light go out of the world. Next time she would not be so lax though. Next time she would do something about it.
March 27th, 2002
His real name was unknown, but he was called Doctor Crazy. He lived in an underground laboratory that The Weirdo maintained for him. Little else is known about him, as traces of his history were obliterated years ago.
The Weirdo had helped him during an extremely bad time in his life. At that time he had labs all over the city, researching one kind of science after another and using a complex criminal syndicate to fund the experiments. The Weirdo had seen something useful in the mad man and instead of killing him had captured him and placed him in the underground complex. These are really all the things you need to know of him. Every great leader of men and every great adventurer needs a man to make interesting toys. Doctor Crazy was that man for The Weirdo and his company.
He didn’t have any clocks any where in his lab, he had many timing devices, but no actual clocks that kept a regular record of what time it was. He lived without the hours and days that constrain most people. He made things without the constraint of cost analysis or requisitions. He simply made things and gave them to The Weirdo when they were ready. There was no science that was unknown to him, and there were no constraints on his genius, save sanity. He had been known as Doctor Crazy after all.
Currently, he was performing not so much an autopsy as he was performing the job that an undertaker might perform. He was cleaning the body, wiping away blood, stitching closed the wounds that hadn’t already been sealed by The Weirdo’s magic. He had been taking his time applying make up very gently and carefully. She had to look natural, and so he wanted her to look. He had been doing this for some time now and was nearly finished.
Now he was performing a job, to make this beautiful young woman presentable for whatever funeral The Weirdo had planned. He looked at some readouts he had prepared for her only the other day. She had been so happy about the results that she had actually kissed him on the cheek when she learned the news. She had been so happy and lovely at that moment and now, less than forty hours later, she was dead.
He looked at the body of this lovely young woman, the lost potential of it all and then, for the first time in nearly ten years, he sat down, held her hand and cried. He cried for her, and for the family that he once had. He cried for the wife and the child that he used to have. The world had done what they had done to him, and now they had done it to someone else as well. There should have been love and justice in the world, but there wasn’t room for such frivolities in this world of pain and misery.
For that he wept.
March 29th, 2002
The cabin was only called a cabin in that it was a house in the country, with a lake behind it. In truth it was the sort of place that would keep a rich family of ten in comfort. It was designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, and looked like a series of blocks stacked together. The place had a modern feel to it, but also the empty feeling of a place one went to in order to get away. No one actually lived here, but you could stay here for a while. There always seemed to be food, spare clothes and all the other things you might need. The land that surrounded the cabin was wholly owned by The Weirdo for nearly five miles in any direction. You could look around and know you were totally alone.
It was the lake that was receiving the attention at this moment. The lake was a mile and a half both ways. It was also very cold and deep. It had the sort of forbodding feeling that a dark cellar might have, and the same sort of view. It was a lake of dark silty water, always clouded, always dark. There didn’t ever seem to be any life in the lake, even insects seemed to avoid it. No one ever swam the dark waters and no one ever rowed out on it for pleasant Sunday jaunts.
Yet there was a dock on the lake, a tongue of old pale wood on the dark lake. It stretched nearly forty feet out onto the water with its pale wood contrasting the dark water. Today there was a boat on the lake and a party stood together on the dock. A party that had stood together many times before, but now had one less member. The Weirdo stood on the dock and looked at the rest of them. He wanted their support, but just at that moment he didn’t want them around.
Tommy was standing with him on the long dock. In deference to the moment he was not wearing his usual blue suit, but a somber charcoal shirt and pants. When he had been at the home, it had always been his funeral suit. He looked at The Weirdo with the same color eyes that had looked at The Weirdo when she said she’d marry him. The two of them had carried her out to this point. They had been the only family that she had, which made them the only ones who could see her off like this. They had laid her out on the boat and were the only ones with her now. They looked at her, wrapped in the cloth that she had asked for in her will. The Weirdo had been angry about that, why did a twenty three year old need a will?
He had a will, but he also kept a small supply of food and water in his car for emergencies, because he was that kind of person. He couldn’t see what reason she had for a will, besides the very obvious point that it had come in useful because now that she was dead they had to read it and follow the instructions she had carefully laid out. That had added to his anger, that something so dumb had actually had a use.
“I should do this part alone.” He said to them.
“You sure?” Tommy asked.
“Yes.” The Weirdo said. “If nothing else, let me claim the safety issue.”
“Okay.” Tommy said.
Tommy’s feet tapped against the wood of the dock as he walked back to the congregation. They stood in the small group, watching him shake his head at them. The Weirdo hadn’t wanted them to come out like this. They had understood the small headshake. He had wanted to be alone, but he had understood they wanted to see her off. He thought it more important to let them come than to fight for his privacy.
The Weirdo held up the length of wood, a broken quarterstaff with a piece of once bloody cloth on it. Her robe had been cleaned, and then soaked in oil and wrapped around the piece of staff she had broken over his head by accident when he had tried to teach her how to fight. The fight training had otherwise gone well, but there would be no more. The Weirdo looked at the boat before him, solemn and quiet. Shannon had been lain in a beautiful dress in the boat and had wood piled around her. There was a lot of cotton batting as well. She had looked more beautiful than this, but she looked as beautiful as she could under the circumstances.
The Weirdo reached into his pocket and produced his lighter. It was an old silver Zippo lighter with a crest etched on the side. Military researchers among you might be interested to note that it was the crest of the lost 104th infantry division who vanished during the battle for Berlin when American forces took the city. He opened the top and struck the spark wheel, the flint made half a dozen sparks, one caught. The fire came to life on the first turn of the wheel and a small flame dance at the end of the wick. He looked at the fire for a moment and then touched the flame to the oiled cloth, closing the lighter as the cloth slowly gained an aura of fire. He pushed the boat away from the dock with his foot with some force.
The front end of the boat lifted as he pushed on it, and it sailed out into the lake. He watched the ripples, which moved listlessly and ceased long before they should have. The water let the boat move through it, and probably helped it along, but it didn’t let ripples, wake or tide form behind it. There was almost no sign that the boat had been there a moment after it had passed. It moved on an endless journey towards the other side of the lake. When it got far enough, he began to think about distances. He looked at the boat, then the flame, judging distance. With a strong over arm throw he tossed the lighted wood at the boat as it moved away.
The spike of flaming wood turned over in the air, the flame staying oddly in the center and the wood stick orbiting around it like the tail of a bright comet. It landed on the boat, and the cotton batting caught immediately. The fire spread around the carefully constructed firebox of wood that they had made. The chambers of air allowed for the flames to spread quickly and build a lot of heat in a short time. The fire had engulfed the entire boat in a little over a minute. The flame would last until the boat itself began to burn, which could take hours. The fire leapt up over the lake and lit it with an orange glow.
Just this once, the lake wasn’t dark, but a glowing orange. The fire seemed not to reflect on the surface, but to be reaching down from under the boat. It looked as if the fire were both reaching for the stars and trying to get to the lakebed. The unnaturally flat water reflected every detail perfectly, as the black smoke began to ride up along with the flames, and fall down beneath the boat.
After a few minuets, The Weirdo turned away from the great bonfire that lay on the water and began to walk back towards the dock. He looked at them as he came towards the congregation made up of his friends. It wasn’t an easy thing to approach.
“Is there anything we should say?” Jack asked.
“I can’t even begin to find words.” The Weirdo answered, still looking at the lake.
“I think we should just go home.” Marla said.
“Perhaps so.” The Weirdo nodded.
© 2012 Autumn Knight Productions
I was complaining about something in The Avengers the day we saw it, and I made some kind of comment that I don’t really remember at the moment. That’s sort of interesting, that I don’t remember the comment, considering the rest of this story. It was a detail about the Capt. America movie, or the Thor movie, and Syd made a mention that she didn’t remember it. She then said something that has been on my mind ever since.
“I never remember things like that. I sort of trained myself not to remember details for that long.” The reasoning was that her trips to the library as a child were non-existent and her trips to the bookstore to get new books were few and far between. As a result, she would have to read the same books over and over again, spacing them out just long enough for the details to have faded from her memory.
That started a long line of things, that all started to click into place for me. Syd’s seen a lot of movies with me and she’s read a lot of books. She’s supposed to know as much about the music of storytelling as I do myself. And yet, she’s so very rarely annoyed by the clichéd, the obvious, and the things that have been done dozens of times and can only seem clever if you’re completely new to movies or books. Now, partly, I’d always put it down to a tolerance for bullshit that I do not posses.
I do not laugh at the joke that I can see coming from miles away. The “He’s adopted” joke just made me curl my lip in disgust. Not only because it shits on adopted kids, but because I could see that joke coming from several miles off. I never laugh at a joke I saw coming from a long way off. Syd claims that there is some enjoyment for some people to get to the punchline before the delivery, like they solved the mystery before anyone else, but I can’t do that and enjoy it.
The same with the “Why should we listen to you?” bit with Capt. America. I knew what the punchline to that sequence was going to be three words into him issuing orders to the cops. I then had to endure 45 years of waiting for the damn line to be delivered so that we could get on with the rest of the movie. I just assume that all the people who laughed at that scene were ignorant of the fact that they’d just seen one of the oldest clichés in the action movie book, and that it wasn’t even done very well. They’ve probably never watched many of the action movies I’ve watched, they just don’t know any better. The fact that they might not have remembered that scene from 3 dozen films and a million billion episodes of tough guy TV shows never actually occurred to me.
Ignorance was an easier answer to be honest. And it’s easy to see, on the surface, how ignorance is the easy answer. Geeks particularly are not well versed outside their comfort zones. Sci-Fi geeks tend to stick to their sci-fi ghettos, only occasionally working their way out to the fantasy realms for supplies and girls in chain mail bikinis. As a result, many geeks will say that The Caves of Steel is their favorite Mystery novel that they’ve ever read. Normally they will neglect to mention, until you persuade them with a car battery and some wet sponges that it is also they only mystery novel they’ve ever read. I know enough people like this, who almost never stray from their chosen section of the book store, to use this as a working hypothesis. It explains why people think a single red herring is an amazing literary device, or that having a detective that listens to opera is innovative, or having the whole fantasy realm actually take place in a future realm that has reverted is new and exciting. If you don’t know… you don’t know. That people might have read or watched, and then forgotten, strangely never occurred to me.
Possibly, it’s because I remember everything. I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday. Now I know what you’re going to say, “That’s no way to treat and expensive musical instrument.” and, you know I love you, but you’ve got a hell of a lot to learn about rock n roll. Now, where was I?
I can remember fine details from a book I read when I was about 6. For example, I can easily remember who the monster at the end of the book was. No spoilers from me, I’m not that kind of guy. I can remember large swaths of history from one viewing of a documentary 15 years ago. I once recognized a movie from a thirty second scene nearly 20 years later. It wasn’t a particularly good movie, but I clearly remembered the scene, the day I watched the part of it I recognized, what I was wearing, what the situation was… I’ve got a lot of details stored up. I can remember the more or less, the plots of almost every book I’ve ever read. I might get a few Robert B. Parker books muddled here and there, but I can give you a beat by beat of a lot things I’ve read. In some cases can recite scenes, and I’ve annoyed people with my ability to rattle off a gestalt version of The Christmas Carol with a running commentary as to how different stage, film and audio versions have changed details. It’s only recently that anyone has ever mentioned that not everyone does some small version of this.
Not only that, but there is a constant comparison being run in my head. How did this movie do this kind of scene, how does it compare to what John Woo or Sam Peckinpah shot. What about Akira Kurosawa, or Sergio Leone. I can recognize visual references about as fast as I recognize audio references, which is more or less instantly. As I say though, it seems most people don’t do this, they just watch the movie. Sometimes, if something really sticks out, they may go “Hey wait a second” but usually it all sort of washes past them and it’s up to me to point out that it doesn’t work for a host of reasons I hand them as we leave the theater. Seriously, it took me less than five minutes to point out all the problems technical I had with Batman Begins. Does no one make pasta in Gotham? Or make tea, or take a bath? And how does an instant evaporation weapon go through metal pipes but not skin? I mean really!
Not only that, but I tend to ask a lot of questions while the film runs. I think about how this character is handling things and how another character might handle them and if the portrayal is being handled realistically. Hence my statement “You’re in Germany genius, maybe you want to tell them to kneel in German, which is what they speak in Germany.” during that scene. Also, my complaint about people with military training using pistols when there were perfectly good rifles sitting around. I have been reliably informed that other people don’t do this.
Going back to the bit with Capt. America telling people to go and what to do, when he got jumped by the expected baddies, I was less taken with his awesome actionness and more asking “Why did they get that close? Shouldn’t you have shaken them before putting the cops at risk? Where is their back up?” and so on. Granted, I was kind of bored during the 9 hours of CGI pixels banging into each other while some green screened actors pretended like they knew what was attacking them.
I’ve only had it brought home to me that even Syd and my father do something I cannot do. I hesitate to use the phrase “Turn off their brains” because neither of them actually disengages their thinking bits. However, I have pointed things out about movies I didn’t like and had my father come back later and explain that now he has trouble watching that movie. However, they are able to get lost into the movie in a way I just don’t find possible. I am always analyzing the book, movie, play, song, particularly when I’m sitting in a dark room doing nothing but watching (Or listening/reading/whatevering) and not being distracted in the slightest. Under that level of scrutiny, the failures magnify and get under my skin, particularly if I’m not enjoying the movie very much. Of course, when I’m enjoying the movie I tend to be able to calculate how much I enjoy the movie.
Part of my problem is that I’ve seen it all and as a result I can see it coming. Now! Genre movies that stick to genre rules, they never bother me like this. So long as their fun, and they follow the rules, I can enjoy them. It’s sort of like music, you know the basic set up of a song when you by an album from a certain band or section of the record store* and you expect to get certain things. You can take changes in the music, even drastic changes, if the song flows. It’s when some pretentious wiener decides he’s going to mess with the formula, but can’t commit that I get annoyed. Brick messed with the formula of a Film Noir, and they stuck to their conceit of having the whole story told with teenagers. As a result, I loved it. It was crispy in just the right way. It’s when someone can’t commit, tries to have it both ways. That gets me annoyed most the time.
Also, I just get annoyed seeing the same thing play out over and over. When a big movie is predictable, that makes me sad. That is possibly why I do actually like movies like Graffiti Bridge. You can’t say that you know where that movie is going when you watch it for the first time. Mostly, because it’s kind of incoherent, but it will surprise you at least once. Or flabbergast, I’ll take flabbergast in a pinch. If you’ve got all the money though, I would like to see something new once in a while, particularly if you’re doing superheroes. Don’t give me the superhero equivalent of Titanic or Avatar. Give me the superhero equivalent of Dr. Strangelove, or the The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (a highly underrated movie) which never bored me and gave me lots of things to see, and think about.
So yeah, my brain works differently, and I don’t stop considering every scene and the implications of it. This is also possibly why I have a problem with stupid characters, I can see their downfall coming two or three seasons away on some TV shows. I don’t feel clever, or superior when the downfall comes, just bored that I wasted so much time when I knew exactly what was going to happen.
*For those of you who are only zygotes. There used to be these places called record stores, where you would buy music on a sort of black disc. Remember mp3s? You know how sometimes you’d get them off a cd? Well a record is like a CD only there were grooves that you needed to decode the music. And you’d buy one or two records at a time at a store that was JUST for records. Sometimes there were tapes (but we won’t get started on tapes) and eventually CDs, but then the internet came and swept them all away. And good riddance too, the people who worked there were usually assholes who hated whatever it was you bought and wanted you to listen to The Doors.
How fanboys ruin the thing they love for other people. OR How did you become more annoying than a sparkling vampire?
The guy who makes the Oatmeal made a comic extolling the virtues of Tesla. Like a lot of comics it was full of exaggerations. Like most things involving Tesla, it demonized Thomas Edison and regurgitated a bunch of things that have long since proven to be not true. Or, as we say in my business, lies. Forbes called him on it. The Oatmeal made a very weak response. And he goes on about that goddamn elephant. The one they were going to kill anyway… the one that had already killed three people… and they’d fed a bunch of cyanide to before hitting the switch. And Edison didn’t even flip the switch, or personally record the event.
And if Edison was a bastard (hint – he was actually) why is it never mentioned that Tesla was a nut?
In short, I get seriously irked when people tell me that Tesla invented everything that Leonardo DaVinci didn’t invent. Mostly because, when you look into it… he didn’t. He invented several things, a towering genius perhaps, but he didn’t invent anything like the list his fanboys claim he did. Edison wasn’t nearly as evil as Tesla fanboys (who need a villain for the story) claim he was. If you’re lying to big your hero up, and put the other guy down YOU ARE STILL LYING! It does neither side any good when you lie. It makes people ignore everything you have to say. Even if this is just a comic, it’s a comic trying to tell people about how Tesla was awesome and Edison was a dick.
If you’re going to present facts, present facts. Otherwise, you will get called on it. Tesla was a great guy, a wonderful inventor, and a hell of a humanitarian that chose to save an entire company and all the people who worked for it instead of getting paid. The reason no one lauds Tesla like they’re supposed to is because once they start looking into claims people make, they find out most of they were told is lies and exaggeration. After they discover that the death ray and the communication with aliens is a lie, and the radar story is at best an exaggeration, they will decide that he probably didn’t really have anything to do with the electric motor. I’ve met a person that didn’t believe he had anything to do with perfecting Alternating Current because, “The death ray is a lie, the aliens thing is a lie, the transporter is a lie, everything anyone says about the guy is a lie.”
And that’s sad, because it’s the enthusiasm gone into overdrive for the thing they love that tends to push people who aren’t already fans away. It killed Firefly, it harmed Star Trek severely for decades, and now it’s ruining Tesla. And here we really come to my point, that fanboys have been slowly killing the things they love by driving people away. The internet has made this worse, because it focuses everyone into little bubbles where everyone agrees with them. That creates a slanted world view in which one side is the good guys and the other side is the bad guys and you are either on one side or the other. There is no middle ground between hating Twilight and being on Team Whoever… probably Abraham.
In fact, the guy writing the oatmeal makes the worst error possible. Near the end, he tells people they have to Pick a Side. NO! You don’t have to pick a goddamn side you stupid arrogant fuck. You can, in fact, straddle the mighty chasm you’ve artificially created and admire things about both men while deploring things about both men. You don’t have to drive away someone just because they admit there are things about Edison that they like. You can encourage learning about one man without having to tear the other down. In fact, it is that tear down that turns people off the most.
Again, allow us to talk about Twilight for a moment. On one side, you have people who pant after a sparkling vampire, on the other side you have these people who foam at the mouth and rant and rave about how horrible it is, how awful, how girls aren’t smart enough not to act like Bella unless we burn all those worthless books that this evil Mormon bitch (not that you’re a bigot mind) has wrought upon our world and smite the unbelievers.
The other side has a sparkling vampire. How did you become more annoying than a sparkling vampire? Seriously, take a good hard look at yourself and ask how you became more of an irritant to me than a vampire that… sparkles. That has to be one of the stupidest monster traits I have ever heard of, and you just got yourself pegged lower on the list than THAT! Come to think of it, the Jar-Jar haters become far more annoying than Jar-Jar ever was, because that movie only ran 2 hours where as the ranting goes on to this day.
We need to have a serious discussion about how the uber-fan and the anti-fan are hurting their own cause. So there should probably be a part two at some point.