“If you walk on the cracks, the bears will get you.”
“No, they won’t.”
But they did. Not bears exactly, more trans-dimensional, multi-versal, quantum-coherents with no sense of humour.
‘The Spooking of Einstein’ is in Urban Fantasist’s Grievous Angel today. 290 words, free to read.
When shit happens, sometimes a purr can help a little.
Control was a competition piece and reached the finals of its group. MashStories have voiced it and posted the audio on Soundcloud. I don’t know if the choice of voice artist was coincidental but she is appropriately British and does a jolly good job!
If you had to choose Earth’s representative for First Contact with aliens, it probably wouldn’t be a 3’6″ Black Glaswegian with no diplomatic experience, would it? ‘When Gliese* Met Glasgow (and Muira made a mint)’ reached the Finals of Pen2Paper, a competition run by the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities; goodness knows how! They’re all here, free to read: http://www.txdisabilities.org/pen-2-paper
* Gliese exists. It was the first star system found to have at least one potentially habitable planet in its orbit.
Trevor Baylis, the delightfully dotty inventor of the wind-up radio (by which I mean the radios you wind up to make work, not the ones that wind you up and stop you from working), lives on an island in the middle of the Thames where flooding is clearly a regular thing. Trevor’s got it taped though: his sockets, hand-painted dark green to match the walls but with white plugs and cables attached, are sited at waist height, and there are odd little wooden contraptions that clip across the bottom of the doors. The piece de resistance is a raised concrete area outside the house upon which chairs and tables have been placed in the manner of a front garden. It is painted grass green, and neatly demonstrates the distinction between capacity for invention and any sort of design sense.
Excerpt from Not Being First Fish, by P Spencer Beck, 2015
Today, we’re off to the Vet’s and it’s the turn of Ms Muppet and General Montgomery … Aiming for nonchalance, I set out the two carriers in a separate room. These are minutely explored, inspected and then inhabited by every cat except my two targets so that guerrilla tactics have finally to be employed. Nabbing Ms Muppet, who is essentially a two-cat-cat-in-a-one-cat-pack, I go for the cooperative approach, pointing her at the entrance to the carrier and shoving gently from behind. So she does what cats uniquely do under those circumstances and morphs into a star shape, grabs the sides of the carrier and hangs there like a gigantic Garfield. I regroup. Pulling backwards, I haul cat and carrier across the room, narrowly avoiding a backward somersault into the litter trays. Ms Muppet lets go to huff off into a corner and sits with her face up against the wall. I sneak up, apply an arm lock and propel her bum first into the box. Door shut, cat contained, job done. Now for the General.
From ‘Aliens on Your Sofa’, a Not Being First Fish diary drama. Find on Amazon UK and US.
Corroboration – Simon’s Cat, in Box Clever. We’ve all been there, haven’t we?
For us, High Tea was a Highly Mannered ritual to be performed for the purposes of demonstrating one’s capacity to set out the cutlery in the right order and on this one particular occasion we were being visited by some rather puffed up relatives who, at their own home, had a front room into which riff raff like us were never invited, but from whom my parents hoped to cop the odd bob or two when they passed on. When the time came we only got a pair of curtains from the rellies and I buried a cat in one of them.
Excerpt from Not Being First Fish. Find on Amazon UK & Amazon US.