lily pulchella has been encountering difficulties of an entirely different sort

The vines stretched up and fixed the last pane of glass in place with their sticky sap. Lily wiped the sweat of concentration from her brow, satisfied that the job was finally finished. She made a few small tweaks to the flowers, then stepped back and admired the greenhouse, light streaming in filtered green through the leaves that covered the ceiling, flowers blooming in dashes of vibrant color. Lily thought it was beautiful. Hopefully the new girl would think so, too. Lily checked her watch. She should be getting here soon.

Everybody was waiting at the door when the new girl rang the bell. Everybody was a bit surprised to discover they had a doorbell. Ethel opened the door, with a “Hello, sweetie. Please come in. Welcome to…” but Lily was no longer paying attention. She was stunned. Vivian, it seemed her name was. Vivian Kaufmann. Short black hair shone in the morning light streaming in through the door behind her. She looked over the room with her deep brown eyes, smiling and waving hello. Plain clothes, not revealing, bright colors. Small breasts, but Lily found that cute. Found her cute, actually, and more. At the right time, she said, “Hi, I’m Lily.”

Vivian said, “Nice to meet you, Lily.”

Lily said, “Nice to meet you too.”

They shook hands.

Lily and Vivian were sitting in the greenhouse, drinking from a bottle of wine raided from the kitchen. Golden sunset glowed all through the glass, casting green shadows through the leaves. Vivian sat in a patch of gold, Lily in a patch of green. “You’re the nicest,” said Vivian, her cheeks blushing slightly, probably from the wine.

“Thank you,” said Lily, her cheeks blushing slightly too.

“I mean it. I’ve been here… um…” she giggled. “I’ve been here a day now. And you’re easily the nicest person here to me. Not that everybody else isn’t nice. But you’re just so… friendly.”

“Thank you.” Lily smiled. Vivian smiled back. There was a pause, but it wasn’t awkward. “So, I noticed you changed your clothes.”

“Really? How observant…” Vivian giggled. “This is what I wear when I’m relaxing.” It was closer-cut, tighter. It hugged her curves well.

“I like it. It looks really good on you. I think it’s even better than your other clothes.”

“Oh,” said Vivian. “Thank you.” And they kept on chatting and drinking until it was midnight and time to scale the stairs and back to bed.

A week later, and they were friends. That was obvious by now. But something more? Was there that spark in her eyes? Was there something to the way she acted differently around Lily than anyone else? They had shared secrets, but there was one secret that Lily had not shared, not knowing how Vivian would react, not wanting to spoil the hope that she felt the same way. Her heart was giving itself to Vivian, but was Vivian willing to receive, or (dare to dream) give in return? Lily lay awake in her garden thinking and her flowers bloomed from passion unspoken, blood-red and royal purple saying how she felt in her own secret language, the one that Vivian could not read. But Lily hoped, prayed, whispering it to her trees, that she would get the message. And that she would say,



all about tom swift

I had submitted these lists to McSweeney's, but they turned me down.

Tom Swift and his Giant Telescope
Tom Swift and his Giant Magnet
Tom Swift and his Talking Pictures
Tom Swift Among the Fire Fighters
Tom Swift and his Big Tunnel
Tom Swift and his Great Searchlight
Tom Swift and his Wireless Message
Tom Swift and his Motorcycle

Tom Swift and his Chest of Secrets
Tom Swift and his Great Oil Gusher
Tom Swift and his Television Detector
Tom Swift and his Magnetic Silencer

Eradicate “Rad” Sampson

Tom Swift and his Atomic Earth Blaster
Tom Swift in the Caves of Nuclear Fire
Tom Swift and his Electronic Retroscope
Tom Swift and his Spectromarine Selector
Tom Swift and his Triphibian Atomicar
Tom Swift and his Megascope Space Prober
Tom Swift and his Repelatron Skyway
Tom Swift and his Polar-Ray Dynasphere
Tom Swift and his Subocean Geotron


what has sonia berren been doing this year?

The alleyway was dark. Sonia, wearing a leather jacket to protect against the cold (and make herself look more intimidating) fingered Mittens’ skull inside her pocket. She looked over at Ms. Jacqueline C. Mize, who was dressed in her spiky metal best. “One of those guys had better show soon,” she said. Sonia nodded in agreement. “I mean, I can understand Mr. Mysterious not showing up on time, but Adam? It’s not like he’s got anything better to do.”

“I resent that,” said a voice from over Sonia’s shoulder. She turned around to see Adam. “So when’s this guy gonna show up?” he asked.

“Don’t know,” said Ms. Jacqueline C. Mize. She checked her watch. “He said 9 P.M. over the phone. It’s 8:59 now… wait, no, now it’s 9 right on the dot.”

There was a cough from one end of the alley. Everybody turned to see a tall man in a trenchcoat and hat silhouetted against the light from the street. “I am here,” he said, in a deep, cold voice. “Identify yourselves.”

“I’m Ms. Jacqueline C. Mize,” said Ms. Jacqueline C. Mize.

“Sonia here. No last name until I trust you.”

“Adam Timios here. I guess you know my last name already.”

The man stepped closer. “I know all of you. Three? This will be hard. But not impossible.” He took off his trenchcoat and dropped it to the dirty ground. Then he took off his hat. Sonia cautiously took some wires out of her pocket and started to concentrate on the space between her and the man.

“My name is…” he paused, cocking his head slightly. He dropped his hat to the ground. “Not important.” He raised his arms, and bullets fired out of them like they were machine guns.

Sonia thought of the air becoming a wall, of all those little invisible wires bound densely together. The bullets hit the wall and stopped. “Drat,” said the man, and he charged forward in some kind of berserk football tackle. The wires broke, but Adam was at the ready with a gust of wind to knock the man off his feet and onto his back. But he was quick to get up.

“You reality deviants are a nuisance.” He stood up and shot a grenade out of his elbow at the fleeing trio. Jacqueline stopped, pivoted, and caught it, throwing it back at the man with startling reflexes. He dodged, and it exploded just behind him in the alley.

Everybody scrambled out into the street. Down by the industrial district, nobody was there to see them except for the streetlamps. Jacqueline, looking around for a weapon, found a chain-link fence and ripped out a post with surprising strength. Adam was preparing a fireball when the man jumped out and fired off a few more clips, full auto. Another wall on Sonia’s part rendered them ineffective, and Jacqueline moved in for a whack. The post wrapped around his head like it was made of solid steel, which Sonia imagined probably wasn’t far off. The fireball, so impressive in execution, did nothing either. The man just took it straight to the chest, and knocked Jacqueline back with a swing of his arm.

A general sense of “well, shit” came over the party. Jacqueline was down and probably out, and fireballs were no good. Muffins whispered to Sonia, “Hey, dumbass, you’re good with wires, right?”

Sonia was a bit busy dodging fast and powerful blows. “Yeah, so?”

“So what I’m saying is, this guy’s a cyborg.”

“SO?” Sonia was more than a little annoyed.


“Shut the hell up, Muffins. I get you.” She focused her senses and, yes, he did have a lot of wires inside him. She could hear the power running from them. She took out a length of wire from her pocket, and imagined it as though it was a part of him. Then she snapped it in two. He stopped moving.

“Did you do that?” asked Adam.



“By the way,” said Sonia, going over to tend to Jacqueline, “if a mysterious stranger ever offers you info ever again…”

“Yeah. I get it.”


winter weather is the best weather: two vignettes of the past week

On Wednesday last, I was searching for a rock for my art project. The beach seemed a likely place for the size and color that I needed, and the buses took me to Alki Beach. On a lonely little bit of rocky beach, I found what I needed, stooping to pick up rocks while the seagull looked on. It was evening; the sun was setting over the hill and filtering none of its light to me. Satisfied, I went back to the bus stop, but found that the bus that took me there did not have a returning counterpart, and the next bus wouldn't be along for half an hour. The bitter cold sunk in, and there was no-one else around in the blueish light, just me and the waves and the fish and chips restaurants a few blocks down. Seeking warmth, I walked up the bus route, buying some battered cod and French fries in a vague attempt to stay warm. The bus arrived, but there was no connecting bus for some time to come. As the bus drove along residences and up hills, passengers got off one by one into the darkening night. Then there was just me and the driver. But the bus ahead of us was the one I wanted, with no wait, and soon the lights of the city returned and I was safe.

On Saturday, Erin had done her laundry at the apartment, and, as it was time for me to leave, I was giving her a ride back to her place. I opened the door, but discovered thick sheets of water between us and the parking garage. We had no umbrella and no recourse but to run, Erin bundling up her clothes-bag in her rain jacket. I dashed madly, becoming soaked in just seconds before reaching the shelter of the garage. I turned around to see how Erin was doing, and there was a flash and a clap of thunder from over the hill. On the drive to her apartment, the gutters were running in torrents, but the rain soon calmed. On the highway? The rain was thicker but I sped through the blackness, Sons and Daughters in the CD player like a punk rock ban sidhe, orange stripe on my left, white stripe on my right, the road curiously slickly visible. There were a few cars on the shoulder: stragglers that were too weak to continue on, I think.


being a gold farmer in wow is a fascinating profession

I find the tone of cyberpunk espionage in this article to be fascinating. It is a very complex world, the MMORPG.