Protected: Chapter 93: Writers Group – The Heroine’s Journey

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Chapter 92: Fanny Fan-out: Christine de Pizan

Favourite Forgotten Women

An Ode to Christine de Pizan

Hester Pulter (6).pngHester Pulter (7).png

Chapter 88: Fanny Fan Out – Poetry: The Oracle Pythia

The Oracle Pythia – Poetry.

This is an ode to the delightful What’s Her Name pod-casters who transported me to ancient Greece during a recent solo commute to Albany. This episode was truly captivating. I cannot recommend these auditory magicians enough if you are a lover of history.

The Pythia (Oracle of Delphi) was a priestess who chanelled prophecies of Apollo whilst in a tranced out state. Most likely she was off her head on volcanic choof, but she sure did draw a crowd. She could have been ranting ancient nursery rhymes for all anyone knew – as her incites were only interpreted by a male priest and relayed mainly to whoever was packing the most gold. No surprise rich and powerful men were ushered to the front of the very long queue, though even those guys could be rejected if Pythia wasn’t feeling the prophetic juices, or other ancient conundrums were afoot. Pity the sacrificed goat – if his hooves faced the wrong way – that was a huge Oracle cock block. The supplicant would leave unenlightened and the poor goat died in vain. Brutal.

Women were most definitely not invited to the sanctuary and there were certainly no nuggets of enlightenment wasted on the supposed fairer sex. This was strictly a boys only club. No girls allowed.

Men would make the pilgrimage from all corners of the earth to have their one burning question answered by the possessed priestess. Business was booming until 393 CE when Roman Emperor Theodosius shut all things Pagan right down to make room for a groovy, new religion – Christianity. This was defo a no-fun zone for Goddess worshippers, women, the poor, slaves etc etc etc …….. we know how that story goes.

So I played around with some poetry – in honour of the Greek women and the wives who may have travelled with their husbands so he might hear a stoned Delphian rave an answer that could have quite easily been discovered had he just looked around a bit. I wonder if these rejected females felt bitter – standing on the outskirts watching the procession of ambitious men handing over their riches in return for a few seconds of some secret life sauce. Perhaps these women just had the smarts and possibly heard or read (if they had the privilege of being able to read) the famous inscription on the temple –

γνῶθι σεαυτόν

Know Thyself

“Done,” they probably said, dusting themselves off and calling it a day.

So here is my what if poem. A little imagining of an ambitious female sneaking in to get herself a hit from the Pythia bong.

References: Wikipedia & Ancient History Encyclopedia

Eugène_Delacroix_-_Lycurgus_Consulting_the_Pythia_-_Google_Art_Project
Eugène Delacroix – Lycurgus Consulting the Pythia Public Domain

the long path I away
laurel branches
do take
today
i feel
priestess
sweet springs
Castalian
bathings
cleansing privileged skin
oh oracle on high
oh Pythia prophesise
me
vapors
volcanic
to her breath
to her mind
Apollo whispers
and she to find
my answers
and hear Delphi blooms
amidst the plumes
will come
visions
unburied
revealing
drawn forth
deep
asunder
unseen fingers
foreseen figures
will come
visions
though
forbidden
trivial
formality
for my finality
and the answer
birthed upon
thine priestesses lips
sweet
pure and true
that her berry breath
bring forth
a brew
to flood all suspicion
birth ambition
my path
me
she shall see!
she shall see!
a fountain
an ocean
a stretching
commotion
that the tide
would see fit
to sweep over it
to rid all untrue
Goddess
reign true!
and i with my tresses
tucked
hidden
breasts veiled
and white dresses
dare not to toy
Naiad
as a boy
waiting
listening
in melody
in verse
of all the universe
for Pythia to sing

Naiad1
John William Waterhouse Public Domain

Chapter 87: Winging It

Or – my life as a chicken wing buffet.

The term “winging it” for me has been more of a life ethos I fell into for the sheer reasons of survival. When you’re not particularly bright and naive as a box full of puppies, a certain skill set is developed in order to manage in society.

A perfect example is the brilliant Stath Lets Flats and the hilarious AF sibling duo Stath (Jamie Demetriou) and Sophie (Natasia Demetriou). These not-so-clever humans scrape through life blissfully unawares of how thick and fumbly they actually are. It’s an admirable formula, albeit a fictional one.

Thankfully, I’m not quite at that level of absurd silliness, though I have certainly known people who literally could have been modelled off them. Dimness thrivers. That show is too funny and too familiar.

I happened to be one of those kids who didn’t quite get things as quickly as my peers. It might be argued it’s a disadvantage to not comprehend life as rapidly as others and each year I wished every birthday wish away hoping I would be gifted with better smarts, better math skills and an upgrade in running. Everything I feared and was slow at.

None of them came true. Bastard, bullshit birthday wishing fairy.

Instead, I developed ways to deal with shit in the most efficient and subtle way possible to at least appear to function like everyone else, so as not to draw attention to my truth, nor constantly look like a dick. I’ve never considered this a con, or a lie, or deceitful, but the exposure of how truly thick I actually am – was always cause for anxiety.

It’s not pretending to be something you’re not… it’s not even faking it till you make it. It’s comprehending the absolute basics, having a crack and crossing your fingers you can pull off whatever task you’re attempting to succeed at without being exposed. Aka – winging it.

While this is a stellar skill to have that enables one to move through life with a false sense of perpetual luck – I’m over winging it. I honestly thought at this point of life I would have well and truly shelved my wings and was at the knowing it, navigating it successfully stage.

Alas, nay.

I have JUST edited the final touches on So You Are… Pregnant! and am even now questioning the writing style, the four gazillion mistakes, the shit formatting, the lack of paragraphs due to lack of e-space and general lack of clue. I’m even doubting if I should tackle the self-publishing thing at all and letting every one of those doubts fill my already overloaded head (as mentioned, it doesn’t take much).

It’s all very, very boo-bloody-hoo, though not completely doom and gloom. I signed up to Ingram Spark. I sorted out my Google Play account. I did stuff. I released the wings. Yay.

And now – as I typically do when processing overthinking trivial crap – I flashback:

In 1983 one of my favourite shows to watch with my Dad was The Greatest American Hero. Of course I related. He was gawky, he was unco and he just wanted to do good. I loved it so much that I somehow managed to convince our teacher to let us sing the theme song for a class assembly (I also convinced another lot of teachers a few years later to let us sing The Henderson Kids closing credits theme song – Carry On. Me mini-wings were on point in the eighties. #justsayin).

It was a success.

Peers enjoyed singing it. Everyone in the audience knew the song and sang and smiled. It brought people joy. My winging it about literal wings had paid off. 

But it wasn’t a typical wing. It was a win. A success because I tapped into what I knew. My strengths. Creativity. The arts. All that I adored.

1984 me got it. She wung it.

I’m tapping back into it.

That blissful oblivion of not being paranoid of your short comings.

Those Stath and Soph vibes.

Wing on…ward

#wingon #facethewing #embracethewung #justgettheeffonwithityouwingingwuss

 

Chapter 86: Too many dicks on the blog floor

…and why this is the greatest song ever written or performed.

Disclaimer: Proceed with caution. Much non-sense making obscurities lie ahead.

…Too many men, too many boys
Too many misters not enough sisters
Too much time on too many hands
Not enough ladies, too many mans

Too many dicks on the dance floor…
(…see below for full brillance)

This may seem like an utterly… like seriously ridiculous post that has no place on paper, on the internet, in thought, or nay – even in the world. However, this ludicrous song has truly, truly brought me out of some rather depthy funks – it deserves to be glorified way more than it has been.

I honestly believe Too Many Dicks On The Dance Floor should be prescribed as an anti-depressant.

So You Are Pregnant started out as an exercise in leeching the demons from my mind and then morphed into some psychotic parallel reality of Preacher’s version of hell. Where the inhabitants re-live a moment in time that lead to their demise down the dark side path.

Writing this thing was tricky enough. Editing and re-editing was a monumental and literal head fck. It’s hard enough to live a few shitty moments and carry them around in your memories, but actively dissecting them over and over and over and over and over ……………………………………………. and over again can send one up the loco tree.

Cue the loco-iest of them all – Flight of the Conchords.

Over the years and particularly whilst writing my head fckery book I would melt into a drippy, droopy sludge like consistency that took on the form of a really emotionally unstable jelly-fish. Floppy, mopey, very un-copey.

The first time I saw Jemaine and Bret doing the Frodo Don’t Wear The Ring (community service – watch both links) skit I fell in love. Kiwi humour is the coolest. Dry. Unbothered. Non-showy. Fcking funny. The band became my fave, the show a new obsession and even back then I used it to combat depression sessions.

Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor was my saviour. I shit you not. WHENEVER I felt myself in a space I knew was unhealthy, I’d YouTube that bad boy and be filled with the healing vibes that only a song about dancing penises can bring.

There was only one time it didn’t work. When I miscarried. Not even FTC could combat the messed up hormones running rampant within me at that point. But, once the recovery took flight, I used the TMDOTDF technique that had served so well and found a few equally, if not greater – deranged vids.

Of course – What We Do in the Shadows

and many randoms followed.

All hail Laura Clery.

Yes. She is one warped little kumquat. Oh, but the brilliance.

Top 3: If Baby’s could TalkCheese on my Titties and Titties Fo Days that will be stuck in your head fo fricken days:

Seriously, I dunno if any of it’s wrong, right and/or just mental… but this stuff is hypnotic. I could not stop watching these and the tears were finally happy ones.

Next up came the batshit crazy cat/ferrit things singing some Moldovan pop song.

Why? Dunno. Some bonker with way too much time on their hands creating severely effed up “art” for people with even more time on their hands. I thank them all.

But none of them, nothing will ever equal the pure delightful mastery of Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor:

I replayed this thing so frequently, my kids began to notice.

So one day when my son was having a melt down, I thought – fck it – and I showed him. He was crying – joyful tears of what the holy hell Mum?

Yes. Yes I did.

“Should you be showing them that?” my husband questioned as a disco doodle was thrusted too and fro. My son morphed from wide mouthed frog to hysterically giggling pixie child.

“Probably not, but all the experts say you should be sharing your interests with your kids, why not this?”

Dicks on the dance floor may be a stretch.”

“I’m viewing it as a love of humour. I have a vested interest in Flight of the Conchords I wish to share with my children. My Dad shared his comedy favourites with me. The Goodies, Benny Hill, Absolutely Fabulous, Faulty Towers, The Two Ronnies… ”

“This explains so much.”

“… Blackadder, Kenny Everett, that weird Max Hedroom thing, Monty Python, Comedy Company, Fast Forward, Let the Blood Run Free, Doug Anthony All-Stars…

“What’s your point?”

“I’m just passing the shit parenting torch.”

“Do you need to show them the video?”

“You think the song on its own is less damaging?”

“At least they won’t see the disco shlongs.”

“But that’s the best bit!”

“I’m questioning your parenting.”

“Get in line buddy.”

Technically – I should be commended for switching on their humour gene and opening up the creative flood gates. Plus I’ve found many practical and therapeutic ways you can use the song to suit, rather than heading for the bottle. Example…

Too many kids on the dance floor
Too many kids
Too many kids on the dance floor 
Not so easy to fix
Too many kids on the dance floor
Kick out the kids
Too many kids on the dance floorwa
Goin to the pantry

Wanna get some choccy
Tryin on the quiety but there’s grabby guts and chompy
There’s greedy out of no where-y
He’s come up from the armchairy
The only sweets i’ll see tonight will be clogging up the dunny

My darling, vengeful spawn caught on quick.

Too many Mum’s on the dance floor… (lame)

Too many farts on the dance floor… (their father & the pug)

Too many shops on the dance floor… (suck it up)

Too many turds on the dance floor… (dog)

Too many Santa’s on the dance floor… (tricky)

Too many peas on the dance floor… (just eat them!!!)

Too many pancakes on the dance floor… (me, whining at the speed they’re eaten)

Too many fishy bums on the dance floor (My daughter came up with this one – when the pug is overdue an arse gland squeeze) … too many fishy bums

They even use it when they’re having melt downs as a coping tool for wayward-emotions.

Too many chores on the dance floor! Too many chores… my son screams between tears because he not only has to bring the bins up from the curb, but take out the rubbish AS WELL! Oh the humanity!

Too many bins on the dance floor!

Too many lectures on the dance floor! Too many lectures…

Too many embarrassing Mum’s on the dance floor…

Too many rules on the day floor….

There are too many to list.

Try it out. Basically slot any word in the song to suit. So versatile and guaranteed to make you smile no matter what the situation. I really love it after 3 minutes of online scrolling and feeling utterly inadequate as a mother because I don’t write sweet notes on my kids banana skins, or cut cloud shaped sandwiches they’ll throw in the bin uneaten, or remember their friends names, sometimes their names, or that we actually took them with me to the shops…

“Too many abandoned kids on the Kmart floor!” they may or may not have yelled as they caught up to my husband and I, slightly panting.

Too many whiners on the dance floor… too many whiners…” we responded and proceeded to whip out the dance moves from the vid at the Kmart entrance we may or may not have accidentally walked out of… without them. They were mortified. Much eye ball rollage.

They have no clue how rad their parents actually are. Bugger craft and play dates. Flight of the Conchords man! This is where the real parenting is at… but probably shouldn’t be. 

Regardless… THANK YOU Flight of the Conchords. I would be a most sad, dull puddle of a parent if it hadn’t been for your creations.

x

“Too Many Dicks (On The Dance Floor)”
By Bret Peter Mckenzie & Jemaine Atea Clement

Too many dicks on the dance floor
Too many dicks on the dance floor, too many dicks!
Too many dicks on the dance floor, too many dicks!
Too many dicks on the dance floor, too many dicks!

Going to the party
Sippin’ a Bacardi
Wanna meet a hottie
But there’s Adam, Steve and Marty
There’s Billy, Todd and Tommy
They’re on leave from the army
The only boobs I’ll see tonight will be made of origami

Tell the fellas make it understood
It ain’t no good if there’s too much wood
Make sure you know before you go
The dance floor bro-ho ratio
5 to 1, it’s a “brodeo”
Tell Steve and Mark its time to go
Wait outside all night to find
Twenty dudes in a conga line

Too many dicks on the dance floor, easy to fix
Too many dicks on the dance floor, spread out the dicks

Too many dudes with too many dicks
Too close to my shit, too hard to meet chicks
I need better odds, more broads less rods
I came to do battle, skedaddle with the cattle prods

Too many men, too many boys
Too many misters not enough sisters
Too much time on too many hands
Not enough ladies, too many mans

Too many dicks on the dance floor
Too many dicks on the dance floor, too many dicks!
Too many dicks on the dance floor, too many dicks!
Too many dicks on the dance floor

Too many dicks, too many dongs
Too many schlongs, now sing this song

Too many dicks on the-too many dicks on the-
Dicks on the-dicks on the-
Dicks-Dicks-Dance-Dicks-
Di-di-di-di-dicks on the dance floor

Too many dicks on the dance floor
Too many dicks on the dance floor, too many dicks!
Too many dicks on the dance floor, too many dicks!
Too many dicks on the dance floor

Chapter 85: Eff You em – en – em — dash

“I’ve always put a space between the dash when I’m writing. It’s aesthetically pleasing and I’ve seen it done in plenty of books and online.”

Never put a space before or after an en dash. Whilst the trend is becomming more popular online, particularly in the blogging sphere – in the literary world the accepted format is no spacing at all.

(NOTE: WordPress auto-formats a dash without spacing to a hyphen. Fun.)

“Righto,” she says and goes back over the entire 80 000+ word manuscript and removes all the spaces. It looks shit. It’s crowded and claustrophobic, but because there is so much slang and bastardisation of language and formatting – she wants to produce something that is professional – even though it probably reads like it was written by an echidna.

Popularity of spaces either side of the en dash are increasing.

“Ay? Really?”

She goes over the winners and finalists of a local short story competition. Mentors and writing peers have placed, so this should help in clearing up what correct formatting looks like. Academics being judged by fellow academics should be void of confusion, right? Wrong.

Entry 1: Spaces galore.
Entry 2: No spaces.
Entry 3: A completely different dash never seen before.

Much panic and confusion ensues. She investigates some of the other finalists.

Spaces:

Yes…
NO…
Yes, yes, yes…
no… no… nooooo…
YES.

“Fck this,” she cries to no one and returns to her novel. Let the butchering begin.

Scroll
space – space…
scroll…
scroll…
scroll……………………………..
backspace…
backspace…………
space – space… etc for entire novel. 13 migraines and an eye twitch later she exports to Mum. Of course.

“I can’t keep obsessing over this – it’s seriously sending me round the twist. I’m going insane.”

“In all my years I’ve always put the spaces in, but I suppose I’ve never written a book. The rules might have changed from my day, but you watch – in a decade – they’ll change again.”

“Forget a decade, they seem to change hourly. It’s madness out there. Go onto Google and there’s warfare about this – the debate is divided 50/50. The “experts” can’t even agree. It’s soooooo fricken confusing. So, for now I’m sticking to Oz rules as much as I can until the US and UK sort their shit out. Trying to figure that lot out is a mind numbing rabbit hole I’m still recovering from.”

“Look, I think you can put it down to “writers style” and be done with it. At the end of the day it’s the story that counts. Do you look at this stuff when you read a book, especially a really good book? No. You keep reading because of the story, not because of the bloody punctuation marks used. As long as you’ve got the main ones in correctly, everything else just distracts the reader. Em dash, en dash – they’re up there with the bloody semi-colan.”

“Oh, don’t even get me started on that bastard.”

“Nup, I’m done with him too. Just a confusing pain in the arse. Unnecessary. Get rid of it.”

“So – just go with “writers style” then?”

“Absolutely. The people who you want to serve are the people who are here for the story. They’re the only ones that matter. And what you’ve written, love is far more important than stressing out over a space or a dash. That’s my five cents.”

“And it’s worth 5 million. Thanks Mum.”

“No worries love.”

Na naa na naa naa! Busted en – dash! I dobbed on you to my Mum! Pull your head in.

horse-937683_1920.jpg

***

Thank you Karl Craig for being one of the few voices of reason I found amongst the sludgy overly opinionated and ridiculous pompousry.

The below content has only be copied and pasted because there was an expired security warning on Karl Craig’s website and I was worried all my fellow confused and clueless writers may miss one of the most straight forward, uncomplicated and simplest explanations on the em/en dash. Please contact if you wish me to remove.
DASH — –
The dash must not be confused with the hyphen (). It comes in two sizes: the em-dash (), the width of a letter ‘m’; and an en-dash (), the width of the letter ‘n’.
In the USA, the em-dash is mostly used, with the en-dash reserved only for numeric series (see rule 5 below). Traditionally, British and Australian publishers preferred the en-dash for all cases, but some style guides now adopt the US convention.
Here are a few examples of how dashes can be used:

  1. To denote a sudden change of thought:
    • Everyone seemed happy – but not so. [UK/Aus. Note there is a space either side of the en-dash.]
    • Everyone seemed happy—but not so. [US. Note that em-dashes do not have spaces.]
    • I was about to comment on her smudged mascara – but thought discretion was wiser. [UK/Aus]
    • I was about to comment on her smudged mascara—but thought discretion was wiser. [US]
  2. To indicate a sudden break in a sentence:
    • Everything was going along quite – hey, wait a minute! [UK/Aus]
    • Everything was going along quite—hey, wait a minute! [US]
  3. A dash is often used in place of brackets or commas:
    • His golf handicap was low – not as low as he would like it to be – but low enough to be competitive.
    • The third item in the auction—the Renoir—was expected to fetch a small fortune.
  4. Two adjacent em-dashes can be used to indicate missing letters in a word (i.e. bowdlerisation – kind of expurgation or censorship):
    • So, where the b——dy hell are you? [A now abandoned advertisement for Australian Tourism.]
    • “Truth never comes into the world but like a b——rd, to the ignominy of him that brought her birth.” [John Milton – English poet (1608–1674).]
  5. Only use the en-dash (without spaces) to join inclusive numbers, or text, in a series (i.e. replacing the word ‘to’):
    • pp. 64–76 [pages 64 to 76]
    • Winston Churchill (1874–1965)
    • 10–30°C [that’s 50–86°F for non-metric readers]
    • Open Monday–Friday
    • Winton–Julia Creek rail link
    • The Mason–Dixon Line.

    Note: rules 1–3 can take either the en-dash with a space either side, or the em-dash without spaces—although the em-dash is gradually winning this race! However, the examples above in rule 5 can only use the en-dash without spaces.

  6. Some publishers use the en- or em-dash to signify an unfinished sentence:
    • And then it dawned on him—
    • She looked up, and froze –

    Note: Although this is perfectly acceptable usage, common practice nowadays prefers the use of the ellipsis (…) in these cases.

Chapter 84: Sci-Fi – Anda Globe Corp

Writing Exercise

Playing around with dystopian/sci-fi themes in Writers Group recently. This was the result. A little rough, in need of a heavy edit and unfinished – but fun to write. I love sci-fi!!

Anda Globe Corp

Malleytec walked down the long, dank hall.

Vile, she thought, pressing her thumb hard into her palm. Not the best way to start a new job. In between the mould mounds leeching from what must have once been a grand walk way, she noted the cameras placed in one metre intervals. She wasn’t surprised. Anda Globe was Eartlend’s mightiest corporation.

“Ah, our new recruit! We are most honoured to finally have you here with us Miss XSP4_35,” greeted a man in a tailored suit. He held out his hand. “I am Master Code JNP, you may call me J. We spoke earlier. Please, take a seat.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

“I have gathered the crew to observe. They’re just next door.”

“Oh?”

We are a transparent company, young Mallytec – no secrets here and honestly – there were just too many of them to fit in this pokey room. May I call you Mallytec?” 

“Yes. Thank you for inviting me today, Sir, though I’m unsure why I have been summonsed.”

“‘Summonsed’? Come now. Don’t look at it so formerly! This is truly a rare opportunity, the type most will never be privy too.”

“Opportunity?” Mallytec raised an eyebrow. She knew Anda Globe’s version of opportunity was grossly flawed for outsiders.

“Destiny, dear girl. To fulfill ones purpose!”

“Purpose? I think there may have been a mistake. I’m just a herder…”

“Let me ask you a question, Mallytec. Do you know how the founding fellowship birthed our name?”

“I…”

“They entered breath into a primitive search engine. As the former Iceland was one of the last islands to produce clean air and water, breath converted to Anda. Do you know what Anda means?”

Everyone knows what Anda means...”Yes, I…”

“Spirit. And that is what our company thrives on. Spirit of being, of innovating, of captivating. Malleytec, you have that spirit and we believe your ethos aligns intrinsically with the heart of the Anda Globe Corp spirit.”

“Right.”

“We are certainly impressed with your criterium results so far and I must admit, you had sector 3489 alive during your data retrieval scan. It has been a most long age since we’ve seen anything like this.”

“Oh. Have I done something wrong?”

“Quite the contrary, young lady. You and your ancestors have done something many of our staff have never seen in their lifetime. Your HA was utterly astounding.”

“Please forgive my ignorance, Sir, but what exactly is it you found?”

“A clean data bloodline. We have scoured the Portanet for a shred of evidence of typical NTB type behaviour and have found nothing!”

“I am sorry again, Sir, I’m not quite up with the acronyms of the company just yet…”

“Ah, yes of course. NTB – Negative. Trolling. Bullying presence, or instigating forms of hate speech within the Portanet, or “online” as they used to call it. The terminology is primitive, but simple for all generations to comprehend and detect. We had our top Hawkers analyse you and your lineage and the findings truly have been astounding.”

“Oh?”

“Crystal is a term reserved for accounts that have been flushed. Yours is the first in history to earn the title before the extraction process.”

“Oh.”

“Oh indeed. You can appreciate why we reached out, Malleytec. Quite literally, you were born for this job and I have absolutely no doubt you will be our most triumphant Hawker ever.”

“I am grateful, Sir, it’s just… I am unfamiliar of the role of a Hawker. As I mentioned, I am but a simple herder.”

J smirked, briefly glancing at his reflection. Mallytec noted the muffled sounds of laughter coming beyond the mirrored wall.

“Yes, the “Herding” element. We discovered a few centuries back your line was considered so untainted your family were reassigned. It was the first and last lifetask realignment to ever occur.”

“Really? What were we before we took up the crook?”

“What you are here for. Hawkers. It was an injustice to deny your line its birthright. You’ll be pleased to know we rectified those involved.”

“Rectified?”

“Yes. Thankfully only three codeliners needed to be walled and not too much trail work was necessary. Though they were discrete, the trail was thoroughly documented and thankfully lead us to you running about the fields in a lifetask you were never designed for.”

Mallytec’s hands shook.

“Now, consider the Hawker a hunter. A crucial protector of our souls and our shells within the portanet and on Earthslide.

“Like a cleaner?”

“Yes! But the most essential cleaner to the planets existence. The ridder of all evils before the manifestation of that evil is possible. We still bear the aftermath of the freedoms afforded those a thousand years ago. Though we salvaged the final fragments of the planet, the toxic trail left behind before their end days still infects our porta-cloud systems.”

“The batterfoams?”

“Well yes, now, but they called them “platforms” and any individual could obtain them. Without question or cost. There was no grouping, no screening, no management. Chaos! There can never be a repeat of those times. The delicate ecosystem of our ways could not prevail. As you would know first hand, we’ve run out of chances. That is why Anda Globe was created. To erase the wrongs of the ancients.”

“So I will be doing…”

“You, my dear Mallytec, will be the head of our Hawker department. The eradication of every negative ever recorded. Hell – my confidence in your lineage is so strong, my dear – I foresee you uncovering even insinuated NTB’s.”

“Okay…”

“I sense disappointment. Don’t forget we know you, your needs and wants. We want your happiness maintained and that is why we have assigned the specialist who devoured your data. Send him in,” J orders the mirror. “Believe me, there is no one on Earthslide, not even your gene unit who knows you quite like Hawker 795.”

A tall younger man in a much darker suit entered the room. He looked nothing like the male herders of the plains with their long untamed hair and warm skin. Hawker 795 wore a shorter style, the blackest shade Mallytec had ever seen. He was appealing enough, though looked as if he had never felt sunlight beyond Anda Globe windows. The two shook hands, smiled briefly and lowered their eyes accordingly.

“Hawker 795 will be your landlife partner. He will assist you in all arrests and DR assignments.”

“I’m sorry, what?”

“Forgive me, Mallytec, this is a new phenomenon for us both. We’ve just converted to a rather primitive system and quite surprisingly the methods of basic security have remained unchanged. Four hundred years of AI issues – it was time for a re-haul and a personal presence has deemed far more effective and efficient. Neighbours, bystanders and the like fear human interaction and either delete their contraband or confess on the spot! I can’t believe nobody saw the connection sooner.”

“I see. So, we… Hawker 7..83…”

“795,” the Hawker corrected.

“Sorry. Hawker 798 and I will locate them and then what?”

“You know the treaty creed, Miss Mallytec?” J probed.

“Yes, I am thou, I am thine, I am our, mine bloodline.

“Well, there are trillions of comments dating back a millenia. You will access files with bloodlines and along with your tracking team unpick every member, categorise the crime, locate, arrest, convict, delete.”

“So, people of today… now, will be responsible for crimes their ancestors committed during a time they were not even crimes?”

“Correct.”

H795 shifted his polished shoes a little and Mallytec noted a slight lift in his brow.

“What happens to those arrested?”

“Oh, this is rather intriguing. It’s like you’ve been moon bound with the space elders.

“They are bricked,” the Hawker spoke in a flat monotone.

“Oh. After a trial?”

“Trial? Why, I can barely recall the last recorded trial after the abolishment of courts. Those systems were deemed void when Anda Globe proved the inefficiency of it all. The data never lies.”

“The accused, what if they don’t align to to the accusations? Surely there are circumstances where people have proven the line has evolved, changed?”

An uneasy sound grew louder behind the mirror. J put his hand toward them, instantly muting the murmurs.

“Miss XSP4_35. I understand your unique circumstances have sheltered you from certain fractors of society, but surely you know Earthland law.”

“Yes sir, but…”

I am my bloodline. I am responsible for my ancestors and that includes their crimes,” J recited more manically. “Could you imagine? The population would be back to the billions if the roles of Anda Globe were defeated by some thing as malleable as empathy.”

“Forgive me, Sir. I meant no disrespect for the creed or of Anda Globe.”

“A minor faux pas and willingly forgiven. Your squeaky clean line cannot be denied, but remember, please do not use your unique lineage to become complacent. Hawker 759 will keep you in check. Now, if that is all…” J motioned to the young Hawker who immediately escorted Mallytec from the room.

Along the bright corridor Mallytec squirmed within his grip.

“Don’t fight me. They’re watching. Wait,” 795 warned through pursed lips. He lead them along several corridor twisting and turning like a maze. Without warning the Hawker wrapped his arm around Mallytec’s waist and pulled her into a dark, dank storeroom.

“What the hell are you doing?” she questioned, her words muffled by 795’s pale slender hand.

“Do not scream. We don’t have much time.”

“Do that again and I’ll relieve you of your fingers.”

The Hawker smirked.

“You have no reason to, but you must trust me. You are in more danger than I suspect you already know you’re in.”

“No shit. This morning I was happily herding and now I am in a closet with you.”

“Your herding heart sabotages your mouth. I can train that out of you so you may survive this. You’ve spent way too much time out there.”

“Clearly you’ve not spent enough and while I may not have any say in my new career path – no one can govern my thoughts.”

“You have no idea what they’re capable of, silly herder girl. I know it’s hard to fathom this right now, but I’m here to help you.”

“What help could you offer me? We’re from different worlds. You know nothing but shiny clothes and mouldy walls.”

With his hand still cradling the girl’s waist, the Hawker unbuttoned the collar of his shirt.

“Pull it back. I promise Mallytec, I will not harm you,” he said. Mallytec noticed the same look of warmth from the mirrored room and slowly pulled back the stiff, white shirt.

A small tattoo of a lone tree on the plains and mountain ranges in the distance. The herder symbol. The home she had walked mere hours before.

“You’re a herder? How have…”

“Someone is coming. Do you trust me?” the Hawker asked, re-buttoning his shirt.

Mallytec hesitated.

“For now.”

“Good enough. I am Cle.”

“Are we escaping?”

“No. We will do what we’ve been assigned, but you and I will decide these people’s fates. As you said, bloodlines change. No one should be bound to their ancestors mistakes forever. Now hush. We’ll leave once they pass.”

 

Chapter 82: Writing Exercise – Poetry continued.

Another lovely evening filled with laughs and camaraderie at Writers Group last night. We have a new member. A delightfully patient man who had shelved his poetry for a few years and was looking for like-minded people to reacquaint himself with the craft. He gave a few readings which was brave for a first night. We were glad he did. There is something truly beautiful hearing someone read poetry in their mother tongue. Even though none of us understood, the melodic rhythms still sung like a song. It was a privilege to experience.

Unfortunately, it was also the night to read our own work out and have it critiqued. The poor man had to endure my Goddess fem-a-thon epic; as well as a brilliantly written revenge to an ex sample and a poem about mammograms. Much apologies were made and the reassurance we are most definitely an all-inclusive group! Lucky he has a great sense of humour – he’s going to need it.

Writing exercise included Topic & Poetry style. A gorgeous wicked, little woman bought a sack of chocolates so naturally my inspiration was taken from the graveyard of wrappers strewn across the desk before me.

Chocolate. 3 Haiku & an Ode

My sweetie my dear

Milky silky love of mine

Get in my gob now.

 

My dear chocolate

The two of us will not last

You go to my arse

 

Me and my blubber

Could never love another

Get in my belly

 

Ode to Chocolate

My darling

My love

My soft centred turtle dove

Vanilla wings on the breeze

You melt milkily with ease

On my lips

On my tongue

On my hips

On my bum

Forcing me to run

A long distance race

Prevent migration to my waist

They say I am quite silly

Maneuvering all this jelly

At the very least

I probably should cease

Worshipping all I hold true

Beautiful, delicious, fat forming you.

Protected: Chapter 80: Fanny-Fan Out – Claudia Severa

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