Data

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 02-09-2014

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Human history would record the advance of the Cyborgs, their 2.0 version redesign, malevolent intent, and resulting war. What would be missing from the annals was the discovery of 1.5 version creatures – canine, feline, and other small animal replicants, who provided critical interaction data during a 50-year planning stage. Although terminated with the planet during the cataclysmic first strike, these 1.5s were used to understand the human propensity for couch sitting, computer use, and inconvenient physical contact; complex models were created to establish the points of intersection between feelings of irritation and irrational affection. “Every roll shredded, every hole dug in the yard – was research,” one of the Cyborg defectors shared casually at the galactic peace summit.

Unfair

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 01-09-2014

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The injustice of it all was too much. Bricknoggin looked around and saw that other demons were perfectly miserable, while he was always as happy as a clam. As much as he tried to despair and brood, there was always some ray of hope shining in the darkness, an opportunity presenting itself, or a solution found right before his eyes. “Pish posh, skulls to nosh,” muttered Bricknoggin, trying to sound angry and bitter, but it was entirely unconvincing. Whenever he attempted to magnify his loneliness, a friend would pop ‘round; whenever he wanted to give up, some miracle manifested at the last minute. “Damn it!” shrieked Bricknoggin, shaking his fist at the ground. “Damn it all to … uh … AAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!” He flinched at the temptation to start laughing.

The Undercryptic Lexicon: Nightmare Haikus

Filed Under (Undercryptic Lexicon) by Tansy on 31-08-2014

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Uncovering the fate of so many researchers left us with a nagging feeling of doom; there was almost palpable relief as we moved to a new section of the Lexicon (away from those haunting photographs). How naive we were. Here, in the labyrinthian twists of the Lexicon, lay not the end of the horrible work, but a new beginning. Before our eyes: pages of unfinished haikus with nightmarish illustrations. Folding under the pressure, two of our best remaining European researchers left on mental health sabbaticals; we are down to one resource in the Outer Mongols, and no one has seen the contact in Algiers for months.

Remaining researchers, if you have the constitution, please finish the haikus on these pages … and may Fate be kind.

HAIKU #1

Late of an evening
The bats flitter to and fro

(Illustration by Edward Gorey)

late

Tansy’s answer: “In my hair now … Bastards”

(Post your own answers and read the genius of others on the Tansy Undercrypt Facebook page.)

Vocation

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 29-08-2014

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The tooth that had started Rennie’s collection had been found in the woods; she had heard it singing and, when she got close enough, it had called out to her by name. “That was the start,” Rennie told her mother, who only listened. “Now I’ve got hundreds in jars everywhere and they’re like old friends – chattering away, making jokes, giving advice, and being comforting.” “So?” her mother said quietly. “What are we thinking here?” “Well,” Rennie replied with great tenderness, “I know everyone was hoping I’d be a dentist, but I think … deep down … I’m a tooth fairy.” There was a tiny, awkward silence and then her mother spoke again. “You know that your father and I will support you and love you no matter what you decide.”

Spend

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 28-08-2014

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The Frankensteins sat silently while the financial planner reviewed their statements. “So … uh … there’s a lot of spend on eBay; let’s talk about that,” the planner said, closing the folio and looking up. Both clients shifted uncomfortably in their seats. They didn’t think they could make someone understand their need to buy pieces and parts of things – odds and ends that could be repurposed or reformed into something new. “We don’t really understand it ourselves,” Frankenstein concluded.

Thing

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 27-08-2014

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“So …,” the reporter began haltingly. “Did I know Clark Kent was Superman?” Lois Lane asked, smirking. She was dressed in crisp linen for summer and her white hair was up in an elegant chignon. The reporter nodded. “C’mon!” Lois chided. “How stupid do people think I am?” She laughed and refreshed their iced teas. “Look, the same guy who wore a blue unitard with red accents and a cape to fight crime thought the ultimate day costume would be normal clothes and a pair of glasses? And I’M the dumb one?” They both smiled. “Yes, officially, I knew all along,” she continued. “Everyone has a thing and, when you love someone, you let them have their thing, you know?”

WIshes

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 26-08-2014

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The demon asked the same question to everyone (“What does your heart most desire?”) promising to deliver exactly that … for a price. “Beauty,” answered the one who felt hers had faded. “Power,” replied the one who secretly felt weak and insecure. “Money,” stated one who could never get enough. “Love,” said one unexpectedly. “What?” the demon asked, assuming it had heard incorrectly. “All you need is love; love is all you need,” said the homeless man with a big smile, proud of himself for getting by in spite of the obstacles. “Hippie,” the demon spat glumly, irritated and sore (for the word burned it).

Sarcasm

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 25-08-2014

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“I’m sarcastic even in my dreams,” Roger told the therapist with a laugh. “Give me an example,” she asked, intrigued. “Well, I have this recurring dream where Death appears next to me at the gym, points to his hourglass, and keeps yelling at me to drop and give him twenty,” he said, shaking his head. “So I reach into my shorts, pull out twenty bucks, and tell him not to let the door hit him on the way out!” “You said that’s a recurring dream?” the therapist asked. “Yeah, but it changes.” “In what way?” “Well, like, this time, with the twenty bucks, he just took my money and looked at me. Stared at me, more like. It creeped me out.” Roger shifted in his chair. “So,” the therapist said after a few seconds, “how does that make you feel?” No longer laughing, Roger took a deep breath. “Like the only place I’m running is out of time.”

The Undercryptic Lexicon: Researchers #18-26

Filed Under (Undercryptic Lexicon) by Tansy on 24-08-2014

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Name these researchers and their area of specialty or accomplishment.

bartos

(Photographer unknown)

Tansy’s answer: “Operatives posing as the townsfolk of Arkham; from left to right, top row to bottom:  Meg Showalter (researcher in place at the Miskatonic Library), Laurelbeth Hughes (on mutant watch at the City Concern), Tonky Wills (documenting folktales as a barmaid), Elba Freeman (evaluating catch weights at the Harbor Office – reported missing), Prolla Ransu (additional Library assignment; language expert recording changes to sentence integrity), Robert Timms-Talbot (shoe shine boy; ciphers and sigils), Catherine Schurrup (registered nurse and hematology sampler – reported missing), Winifred Cordell (registered nurse assigned to the Arkham Asylum, craniologist – reportedly committed and now missing), Euble Henry Addison (sociology researcher in place at the Historical Society; ordered to explore sexual mores and mating behavior – deceased).

(Post your own answers and read the genius of others on the Tansy Undercrypt Facebook page.)

Guest

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 23-08-2014

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Jacob returned to the kitchen where his parents were huddled in a corner. “He says he’s Elijah,” Jacob said softly. Mr Schmetzer whistled low. “Well,” he said, “we did set a place for him.” Mrs Schmetzer peeked through the doorway into the dining room at the radiant being. “I cannot WAIT to tell Helen,” she whispered to herself. “But wait now,” Jacob said, looking puzzled. “How do we actually know that it’s Elijah? Are there, like, identification questions or a code or something?” Mr Schmetzer looked over his wife’s shoulder at their unexpected guest. The devil could assume a pleasing shape; was this a pleasing shape? He had absolutely no idea of what to do. “Shit,” Mr Schmetzer said, forgetting himself.