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oXXo or Six Color Process or helo2charlie (standard:science fiction, 8165 words)
Author: kupecz99Added: Oct 02 2000Views/Reads: 2353/1406Story 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?



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 

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

"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 

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