Happy Birthday!! (You know who you are.)
Been all too long since we had an anthology. (Has it really been since last November?)
As usual, these extracts from the Ajax Toy were contributed by person or persons unknown. No consistency or identity of narrative universe is implied. Read at your own risk. Characters may or may not be Mia. You might want to read them one at a time over a long period, or alternately greedily gobble them all at once. I have the best readers.
There was a moon that night, a cold spring moon. Her tears, like diamonds, hit the frozen earth, bounced and scattered on cue. Knowing that she could not keep pace, he played through; that intrepid tower of certitude, that fearless pawn to king four, pawn to king four, pawn to queen four.
I heard it, and knew no more--heard it as I sat petrified in that unknown cemetery in the hollow, amidst the crumbling stones and the falling tombs, the rank vegetation and the miasmal vapors-- heard it well up from the innermost depths of that damnable open sepulcher as I watched amorphous, necrophagous shadows dance beneath an accursed waning moon.
"Could you please, please stop that infernal tapping? And pay some attention to me for once?" She let her gown fall open a bit in the way he used to like but it was wasted on him now as he sat hunched over the old typewriter frantically tapping out the stories that streamed into his earpiece. This was all he had left now of the old world -- the stories.
She rolled over onto her side sleepily and looked at him. "Mmm...I was just having the best dream." "Really?" He reached over and playfully pinched her, "Are you sure it was a dream?" "Yes," she said, "even dreams are written by the victors."
Where do you go when you get to the end of your dream?
Yes, and even so the clouds still gathered on the horizon of hope; everyone straining ears for the opening bars of The Gathering Song, their tentative optimism competing with the daemons of doubt who rattled their forked tails stage left.
It was a dark and stormy night. Yes, and even so the clouds still gathered on the horizon of hope; everyone straining ears for the opening bars of The Gathering Song, their tentative optimism competing with the daemons of doubt who rattled their forked tails stage left.
It was a dark and stormy night. Yes, and even so the clouds still gathered on the horizon of hope; everyone straining ears for the opening bars of The Gathering Song, their tentative optimism competing with the daemons of doubt who forked their tattled tales stage left.
It was a dark and stormy night. Yes, and even so the crowds still gathered on the horizon of hope; everyone straining ears for the opening bars of The Gathering Song, their tentative optimism competing with the daemons of doubt who flogged their tattered tales stage left.
History and love are made by those who show up.
"History and love are made by those who show up." Perfect. He set the pen aside and reached for his pipe, but picked up instead a stick of gum, slowly peeling it out of its foil girdle. Damn doctor and his quack nostrums. So had he indeed influenced history with his mighty pen? There were a few who would say so. Better maybe that he had made less history and more love.
The sea around here was full of them, those half-sized mermaids whose tails oozed honey. Some men had tongues that could taste that sweetness but some tasted only spume.
the edge of the beam caught the rust stain on the worn concrete. the chain was gone, and the bolt that had held it. A sea slug made its nest now in the hole, all that was left of the moorage. he stared out into the vast blackness that had once been his domain, more home than this barren rock had ever been.
blue and shiny green. her scales glistened in the sunlight. glistened and glinted and oozed honey. how long had she waited for this day, the day her prince would come. she tucked her tail under then changed her mind and flipped it back out again. she just hoped the knife wouldn't hurt too much.
Edges and integers and unclassified particles; she had an extensive collection of all three, mostly inherited from her paternal great-uncle. She had contemplated donating them to the museum but feared they would not be stored properly after her departure.
The notes fell, seemingly randomly, but then locked into their places on the keyboard. This new world where all energy had form was so crowded; form but not substance. He had had to get used to not ducking and shirking when sounds like big rubber balls and small high-bouncers streamed at him and through him constantly. The nausea was continual.
The bees, heavy with honey, slowly droned by enroute to their hive; number 138 in this case, seemingly totally unaffected by the reversal of the poles. Mammalian migratory patterns, on the other hand, had been thrown into total disarray. It was her job to figure it all out...by next Tuesday.
Oh yes, big city latté, tasteless fluff, bitter bottom. No tooth.
The golden baby rose once more from the sulphuorus spume and filled the plum-coloured sky with its shrieks and howls. How could any mother, now matter how jaded, ignore the spectacle?
She had known it all once, all the ontologies, the stories, the methodologies, all the outcomes. But that was before the collapse of the September moon and the subsequent resignation of all the principals. Now she sat and listened, in vain, for the tapping.
The lemon cookies were crisp and delicate and flaky, just like Madame Le Gris, the sometimes aristocrat. From her old-fashioned invalid's chair she ruled her mothball kingdom, and wrote letters; oh she wrote letters. In her spidery script, on old paper that smelled faintly of camphor she invited dukes, and bishops and charge d'affaires to undertake the privilege of coming to her aid.
Now wolves everywhere are scrambling to hide their wolf suits. What next? No shoulder butterflies?
"First published in 1954, this spellbindingly funny novel was awarded the Howells Medal for Fiction."
When multiple variants of roughly the same text were received, the editors have chosen a subset of them on whim. Texts received between the previous anthology and the first text that I bothered looking at when preparing this one are still subject to later anthologization. No conclusions should ever be drawn from anything, if at all possible.