|oXXo or Six Color Process or helo2charlie (standard:science fiction, 8165 words)|
|Author: kupecz99||Added: Oct 02 2000||Views/Reads: 2353/1406||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A few years ago in a land very near, Charlie was an engineer. A good man, wasn't he? But Charlie started to have strange thoughts and feelings. Has he become a danger to himself and others? Do you wish you knew Him now, or would be too scary?|
helo2charly by Jim Kupecz "...It hangs, moist, various, like a living sapphire spinning through the blackness around its blazing little yellow sun. Its northern hemisphere is now in the annual cool phase; temporary blankets of tiny white water crystals, condensed from the atmosphere by the cold, sparkle over great portions of the area. "The intelligent organic bifurcated, bi-sexual..." he chuckled, "...Well, how do you say it -- two sexual? That's worse, sounds like too sexual -- ...creatures are somewhat thermally self regulating; they cope with extreme temperature variations by wrapping and unwrapping their physical 'bodies' in textile-like materials, and further, by entering artificial hollow structures which, in recent times, are equipped with mechanical devices to produce or reduce heat..." So thought Charlie Gauss, without paying much attention to the thought. He was panting and leaning on his red snow shovel. It was an odd old habit, from childhood -- making up descriptions of what was around him as if he were a visitor from somewhere else No doubt this habit had contributed greatly to making him a good technician. He was a top production designer for the Eastman Kodak Company, in the "Special Films" Division. Winter sunlight, a rare phenomenon by the shores of Lake Ontario, flashed into the kitchen window and dazzled Susan's eyes. Charlie could see her inside, shielding her eyes with one hand. He saw, and, intellectually, he knew, she was a lovely woman, vivacious, intelligent, kind, and he was fortunate, incredibly fortunate, to be her husband. Susan waved to him, pinching her cheeks to make them red, like his, pretending to blow out clouds of steam, as he was. Then she put the phone down to pour herself a cup from the Mister Coffee and light a cigarette. She held the cup up to the window, miming, "Do you want some?" Miming "It's very cold outside, come on in." Charlie shook his head, beat his chest, showed her his non-existent big muscles, bulging through the shiny down jacket. Then she mimed that he was crazy and, laughing, pulled the shade down slightly, to cut the glare. Before she started speaking again she let out a big sigh, all of which Charlie could see, though he could not hear her words. He stood and watched her, anyway. * * * "...I know just what you mean, Marge," she said, still looking affectionately at Charlie in his snowscape, "my biggest thrill lately is I watch Johnny Carson and hope I'll dream about the stars." She stuck out her tongue at him and waved for him to go away. "...Right, all my Sarah wants to do is talk on the phone and try on clothes.... "And little Chuckie is driving us all crazy. Five years old and he doesn't want to talk anymore. He wants to play tic tac toe every minute of the day. He won't even go outside. Then the other day he comes down to the cellar with me and digs through his box of baby toys till he finds this baby toy -- this old post thing with the big colored doughnuts that you put over it. You know, every one is a different color and the biggest one goes on the bottom? So now, if nobody will play X and O's with him, he just sits in the corner putting the rings on and taking them off, and he never even gets them right -- he puts the littlest one in the middle.... uh-huh... right... Charlie says it's just a phase, but seriously, I wonder if he's going to get into first next year. "I think Bill Cosby is right -- they all have brain damage..." She listened; she laughed; she looked out the window again. It was getting to be twilight. Charlie seemed to be in a reverie out there, Susan knocked on the window and mimed cold again. Charlie smiled and went Click here to read the rest of this story (991 more lines)
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