Tuesday, 5 March 2013


Distant klaxons whined out a guttural polizei-tone. The intersections all the way into the city were rife with living ads. Immense holo-hoardings pulsated and enticed, light as day. It took concentration to negotiate the seven-lane roundabouts, especially for those not on automatics.
Plug in a Peetza in Turbat sauce! Cheezo!
New Whizzky – auto-bottled – no need to decant – sip via SensoTop™ Safe, clean, eco-pure!!
Constant motorcades flashed furiously past from A to B on the highways of gripper tarmac. Illuminated info signs animated as the traffic drove by, speaking directly, electronically, to the vehicles themselves. Meanwhile the occupants dozed on, hopped up on Morpholax, Valet-Yum, or some other of the coma-narc, relaxant pleasure drugs of the Fortuitous Forties. The vehicular conference of raw cybernetics continued and the Holo-ads brightened in passing. They instructed, ordered, wheedled and cajoled. In the whole history of commerce, this much had not changed. Still no-one questioned the dark night and the space-travel stars, the beckoning beacons, these distant classifieds in the heavens.
Dormociel, the penta-glaze sky-dome window system is best and thermally effective!
No-one stirred a stump against the deliverance of things to come. There was an ethic, which said: Procrastination is the thief of time – are you under-insured?

What else was there to say? Invest, divest, travest, harvest, request. What planet was this? Terra (oh, so Firma), in the year of our Lord, 2040. It was the year of Vasto the Gamma and of Guru-ji Zukariss, the Anti-static Meso-Martyr. Recession or precession: who cared? The poor had always been with us. Only now they woke on Red Risers or slept the sleep of Somno-Lens. As always, the cash-homes went on raking in the credit, production went on accruing.
Please be seated, unhook your cerebro-cortical faculties, undress the brain, the poop-show is entering a new phase. Pop the pill and finger the fumble-pads, we are going over the hill to nowhere. Be sure to buy a ringside seat!
It was a cool night in autumn. Beneath the futuristic heavens, in the myopic and monochromatic darkness, the few remaining trees bore brown and crinkled leaves. Among the Keatish mists, harvests were ripening, awaiting a mechanistic gathering. It was the 28th of August, the last of the month. Above there was a light cloud layer, an advancing weather system deflected by the clear-air corridors of Dice, masking the paler stars.

A veil was drawn over the firmament, the work of a directed universe, a benign omni-being. So thought Ackroyd MacReady, as he wheeled his autobike down the lead-dark hillside from the glowing porch of his organo-croft. God, the All-person, had dulled the scintillating heavens so that MacReady, the acolyte, might further the emergence of Divine Truth. 

What if these wispy nebules were only side-events of the interfering Weather Bureau? Could the God-force of Ack-ack MacReady and the Disciples compete with the secular ham-fist of humanity? MacReady believed so, but he had no sure answers as he pushed his autobike along the carriageway embankment. 

In his heart any cobwebs of doubt were dusted away out of sight. His only aim, his one thought, was to carry out this sacrifice, to unleash a gesture which should shake the world. Let the vid-tubes bleat and hypnotise, the quasi-divine operation would still their claptrap and open peoples’ eyes. With the flushed cheeks of a fanatic and a wild, fervent gaze on his face he kickstarted his machine and rode out into the traffic mainstream, disappearing from view into the glaring lights.
Be happy, now, with Gay-shah, the semi-cyber-hotsie doll!
© BH 1985

I've always liked the opening paragraphs of stories. I've written plenty and I have a preference for the weird and speculative, as you can tell. This one I dug out of an archive. The assigned date of 1985 is only my best guess. I really have no recollection of when. All I had to go on was the style of the note it was written on and the level of degeneration evident in my handwriting.