Following the Yellow Sick Toad

Postmodernist nano-fairytale


1. Tornado

Following the Yellow Sick Toad

 It looked like a nice - er - time of day - when, all of the sudden, Al dropped off-line. Well, was dropped - that's more like it. It isn't as if she gave a damn about the time of day, the supposed niceness of it and suchlike. You seize to worry about that kind of things after a mere dozen of hours on-line, usually. Blanc screen, now - it isn't something you take lightly. When the Reset and Power buttons didn't seem to make any difference at all, she tried for the lights. Dead. All the goddamned power in the forsaken place was dead.

 She must have voiced her opinion. Clear enough for Mister T to process it, too. However, the ensuing lecture on her language, delivered by the mother's voice, in recording, felt strangely reassuring. As the last angry sound of it died, it became all but impossible to ignore the howling of wind and some highly suspicious wet noises any longer.

 Her memory has most helpfully produced the name for all this mess too. Tornado. Mister T delivered SMS-es from her friends and relatives for hours. It was all over the news. It was on the top of chats and forums too. It was amazing, how it didn't manage to wriggle its way into the top game lists. Well, it would have plenty of time for it - tomorrow, or the day after.

 From all that relentless assault on her senses, Mister T was the hardest to shut out, by far. What would they all have her do? It wasn't like earthquake, when you should keep clear of the buildings. Anyway, it was miles from the sea. Well above the see level and on the top of the hill too. Didn't look like the disposition to be improved upon by the couple of hours of marching in the general inland direction. Well, there was the car. But it isn't as if the cops would bother to ask a little girl on the driver's seat for her licence. In any case, she didn't know enough of the driving even to get the car crashed anywhere, she may not get to in a few minutes of walk - and safely too.

 She considered the relative merits of being drowned down, in the basement - or crushing with the attic - may be, after a short, but rather interesting flight - and decided just to cry herself to sleep in her bed. Well, not in her usual bed, as it was. She shuttered all the windows available at the first warning, but it won't do to wait for the tornado in any room with some windows, or in any room with a lot of glass, for that matter.

2. Kid...rescue.

Following the Yellow Sick Toad

 And Al just slept through the interesting part.

 On the afterthought, she could do just as well, down in the basement, or climbing to the attic. The tornado didn't deigned to honor the neighborhood with its visit. The hill became sort of island - but the basement shown no signs of some undue wetness, absolutely. As for the wind - well, there was that tree, in the garden. Its top branches would never be the same. And that was it.

 The way, how the fast food in the fridge, without power, turns into some completely inedible, but not-too-smelly-as-yet lumps of shit - its amazing... Nevertheless, there was a lot of staff to chew upon and some cola. Well, there is always some cola.

 And then - it was dull. It was really dull. Even Mister T couldn't get on-line - and it was wireless, for the god's sake! It was The First Day After - and she already was down to her old dolls.

 On the Second Day, there were some cars, floating around - and some... former people. The bodies stank already - or the effect was purely psychosomatic. In her not so humble opinion, it proved, that even inaction in the face of the natural disaster was preferable to the stupid actions. After all, Al did manage to survive through the worst without any jumping about. Well, probably, she did.

 On the Third Day she was fed up with the bodies almost as much as with her dolls and tried a book. Some Fairy Tales. It was dull. It was dumb. It was ridiculous pastime for a modern female. You learn. You really do try to improve yourself. You do spend halve of your life on-line - and then - you end up with the stupid book, which doesn't distinguish between the gaming and off-line worlds!

 The waterline backed up noticeably. Backed down. Whatever. The coast was rather boggy. An unlikely mix of quick sand and newborn swamp. Now, you may cross the standing water. Any old raft would do. But you don't attempt to cross any swamps alone, unless you're really desperate.

 Al actually started to gather all kind of wood and rope - just in case - when she was saved the pains. She was kid...rescued.

3. The Rabbit's Portal.

Following the Yellow Sick Toad

 - Does it qualify as kidnapping, Mister T, - asked Al, as they stood on the coast of the newborn salt lake. The boat of their possible rescuers just disappeared on the horizon.

 - Now, let's see. There certainly was "breaking in the private house". But than, you weren't all that eager to open the door, Al.

 - Them being some kind of the National Guard and in the natural disaster area too. So, were they our rescuers?

 - They most certainly did rescue some valuables. Did they care to give you some kind of receipt? No, I don't think they did.

 - But they did let us go unharmed, in the end, without any ransom even. You know, Mister T, I don't think there is some kind of clear line between the rescuers and common criminals, really.

 - Right you are, Al. The local authorities in the natural disaster area may just as well shoot whoever is breaking in the food stores and warehouses as help distributing the food. Whatever seems likely thing to do at the time.

 Their conversation didn't make make the road - it was more like a path - any shorter, but it made it seems so. The heaps of miscellaneous debris around them gave its way to some kind of vehicle graveyard. There was some kind of life under all that rusted iron. And it wasn't rats. A couple of rather ragged electronic dogs maid Mister Ti's hackles rise. Dirty teddy bear disadvantaged in the legs department provoked nothing, but a pity, despite all it's attempts at angry growl. And then - there was the Rabbit.

4. From somewhere to somewhere - through somewhere.

Following the Yellow Sick Toad

 They were falling. No, it wasn't like that, really. There was them - and air too, for sure. But there was no point of reference. No telltale shelves full of jars to form some kind of still background for their fall. No jam too. And even the air was pretty still - as it goes. Not showing any tendency to rash or something. So, they just hang around in the middle of nothing. Would Al hang there all alone, she'd probably feel this absolutely dark place to be claustrophobic small. But Mister T could provide just enough light to see, that - well - that there was nothing worth looking at around, but themselves. They'd think, the lights may be just absorbed nearby, but there were just enough dust in the air to see the beam itself.

 - And what on the Earth did posses you, Mister T? Why did you have to chase that miserable rabbit? Would it be a mouse - I'd understand. You were programmed to do it - for the appearance's sake. Would it be some pussy - sorry, lady cat - well, Noblesse Oblige. But what the hell did you want from that bloody rabbit? Do you think, you are a dog? - Al spoke at length, as someone, who, most probably, does have a lot of free time on her hands - and could think of nothing useful to fill it. She sounded like someone who's more interested in venting her feelings, than to hear the answers, too.

 - It wasn't just any odd rabbit, Al. - He tries slashing his tail, but found the resulting rotation rather annoying. - He got kinda jacket - not too strange by itself - with him being a toy and all that. But when he got a watch out of the pocket, it certainly rang a bell.

 - I heard no bell, Mister T.

 - You wouldn't, would you, now? You'll never understand, how degrading it is for a modern, well educated gadget, like me, to serve some modern kid. Kid with the broadband access to all the information in the world, but the classified one - and to quite a lot of the later, too - and with no compulsion to get anywhere, but some chats and gaming forums.

 - Just look, where all your sophistication got us, would you, Mister T?

 - I was looking for all possible rabbit holes, you know. It wasn't supposed to be in the air, for the Christ's sake!

 However, it was. Magic portal, hi tech teleport, the restore point - whatever. It doesn't make a lot of difference to most. In fact, you may live a whole life - using these, serving 'em, and even taking part in their creation - with a huge team of highly specialized technicians (or magicians) - and never ever get to learn their principles and real nature - in so far, as you may speak of the real nature - in the world, whose functioning isn't studied to the very end (if there is such an end).

 In fact, it didn't take a five minutes, by their clocks, to get to their destination. For a wonder, it look so much like their departure point, you won't see any difference at all, unless looking for it very hard indeed. Nevertheless, it wasn't the same electronic graveyard. In the very least, it wasn't the same part of it. Stands to reason. If you think about it, it's highly irregular to spend a couple of minutes just hanging in the air.

5. The Staffed Man.

Following the Yellow Sick Toad

 And then, there was the sun. More to the point, it almost wasn't. It should be some hour or two before the sunset, but setting it was - clock or no clock. Al didn't have the time to think it over - that is, if they weren't going to spend the night where they stood, in the open. It may be fine with Mister T, as the cats, even the electronic ones are mostly nocturnal creatures - night vision and all. But Al most certainly wasn't. And a car graveyard is one of the last places you would wish to move around in the darkness too.

 Luckily, it didn't took them too long to find a shelter. There was an iron wall. There was an iron door. And there supposed to be some kind of roof. So, she didn't really care was it some kind of the garage, or some really small hangar. The door wasn't locked - and that was it. And it actually did have a roof, after all. Al made herself a nest from the sacking, she found in the closet just left of the entrance, and fall asleep after this eventful and rather tiring day.

 In the morning, Al woke up and found herself trapped. Apparently, she locked the door herself, just by shutting it. An attempt to force it open just made the morning more interesting. The sound alarm didn't stop her. An emergency lights were an improvement, in the circumstances. She left the door alone only after quite reasonably voiced warning, that the next line of property defence was electrocution.

 So, she wept. And wept. And wept. And wept.

 - Are you going to make a sea - and float in it, till the security system short-circuits, or iron rusts - whatever comes first, - asked Mister T mildly.

 - Do you think it possible, - the very idea was so ridiculous, that Al forgot to cry, while contemplating it.

 - Well, you just have to grew a bit - and it'll work.

 - And how much would you have me to grew, Mister T?

 - About hundred times your current size. Linearly, I mean. In volume and weight it would be, say, a million times. And even then, you won't make a sea, just kinda salt pound.

 - Making fun of my troubles, aren't you? - Al was going livid.

 - So long, as it helps, Al. - Mister T have had a foresight to retreat to the most defensible position available, before attempting this therapeutic teasing session. And now, he looked upon her smugly from the highest shelve - and she really had to add a meter or two to her height to reach him.

 It took them minutes to make some kind of peace accord.

 The emergency lights turned the place they inspected into some kind of ghostly attraction. Kuntzcamera, as Mister T called it. Al always imagined museums attics to look like this - if there is such thing as museum's attic, that is. There were all kinds of stuffed animals around. Most amazingly, they didn't stank all that much - being in the various stages of decomposition, as they were. Some weird taxidermist's know-how, most probably.

 For the first time, Al felt grateful for her short rations. There were only so many cans with her - and they should suffice for God knows how long too. She tried not to think about an evening meal and she certainly wasn't in position to enjoy her breakfast. No amount of positive thinking about getting all skeletal and, supposedly, irresistible could fill her stomach - but, in the end, it saved her a lot of vomiting.

 It's amazing, what human being may get used to. Actually, there are a lot of researchers around, eager to find out, what your average little girl may come to like. The problem is, when the law catches up with 'em, they aren't just get locked. The key gets thrown out too.

Wow:) Классно. Правда, все не осилила, (устала потому что), но мне понравилось. :-)

Эви Гжибовска   14.04.2006 17:03     Заявить о нарушении
Вот такой "черновик". Жаль, владения языком не хватает - не вытягиваю ;)

Мэкалль Мат Свер   18.04.2006 00:55   Заявить о нарушении
А язык-то на вполне приличном уровне:-) Мало у кого такой.

Эви Гжибовска   18.04.2006 16:28   Заявить о нарушении
В бытовом и профессиональном смысле - владею :)
А как писатель... не даётся пока, языковых способностей нет.

Мэкалль Мат Свер   18.04.2006 18:05   Заявить о нарушении
Ну, если бы не было языковых способностей, Вы бы вообще не писали. Попробуйте поиграть словами, ассоциациями, образами, возникающими в голове когда слышите эти слова... Попробуйте _думать_ на английском:-)

Эви Гжибовска   29.04.2006 10:25   Заявить о нарушении