Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: excerpts

2013 NaNoWriMo Excerpt #3

“Stop it,” he said. “You don’t think I have thought of what you’re going to suggest? You’re gonna say that you find certain exercises helpful, that knowing that you have a physical body alleviates the mental pain. That focusing on repeating something helps. That you’ve found some god. Well, let me tell you, I haven’t had a hot meal in five days. And I don’t know why I would continue trying. So someone, anyone, give me a reason to go on living.”

Maybe he thought he was holding the gun to his own head. Maybe that was what he thought.

He pulled the trigger.

2013 NaNoWriMo Excerpt #2

Mos sighed. “Alright.” He turned to the wall of hostages, all pressed up against children’s books. “I’m going to release one of you as a show of good will.”

They were silent, all looked at one another without talking.

“Any volunteers?”

Dead silence still. There were eighteen of them, plus the little child whose life he was continually threatening.

“It might help,” said Rakel, “if you released someone who needs medical attention. I mean, release anyone who needs medical attention.”

“Does anyone,” Mos said carefully, “require medical attention?”

They all seemed fine. No-one stirred.

“Anyone with asthma?”

A man – the parent of the child, perhaps – held up his own inhaler and murmured, “I’m alright.”

2013 NaNoWriMo Excerpt #1

“I can do that, Mos. I can definitely do that, listen to your demands. This happens all the time, you know. What is it you require? A helicopter?”

“Are you mocking me?”

“Would I dream of mocking someone who’s holding a gun to a child’s head? I am a professional, Mos, and we are about to conduct some business.”

“Right, then.” There was a ghastly silence as the static on the line, and the jilt of jewellry, and the creaky sound of sweat pushing its way to the surface of his skin all paused to listen to what he was about to say. “I want a nice, quiet life.”

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Fragments of a Work in Progress

Thoughts stretched like shadows elongating; like you’re on a painstakingly slow-revolving ship made of glass heading outwards from your sun, awaywards, deepspacewards. Your thoughts (the shadows) are then everywhere because the sun is underneath you – and you ascend, unless your mammal mind has already adapted to the rotation.

Grahm found that difficult. Everything he believed in space was new; the cogging went in spirals inward. For a few amorphous months Grahm had gone through every holy book he had ever been taught about, and delved into the library for more. He used them up, quicker than he shed his skin and replaced himself (which for regular humans was the luxurious length of 7½ years).

When he had first been shot out into space there had been food with him, to trick him into thinking he had a supply. In fact, all those paperbags were one and the same bag, and when he opened the first one he collapsed them. Grahm, though advanced enough to eat the starlight shining in through all the windows, had requested this specific food to carry with them into the cold of space and now the bag had gone stale and the smell of Americana was faint enough that it could have been anything.

On a similar trajectory as he was his Chanceone, his choice one, Decarulin, who he was told was beautiful. He did not really care; they were going to fuck. That was the one thought that came back, though it too in different shapes. It was on the list. Some parts of him liked her, others hated her, but his whole being wanted her. That was sensor-proof.

Grahm started making up his own gods, but they lacked in weight and symbolism compared to the old gods and he used them up too quickly. He could spend a month in the intermediary state spoke of in the Bardo Thödol, or six weeks digesting [the footnotes of [the footnotes of [the footnotes of a typo]]] in the Torah scrolls but when worshipping the Eternal Lobster all he could do was shed and empty, all his skin cells aligning to attention. Days flew by, Grahm felt motion sickness from it – or was it the rotation? – and his pantheon thinned to just him, the devil, and the Alien.

“I am chock full of clockwork chemicals,” he said to space which did not reply, but rather looked scornfully back at him, malice in its million eyes. Looked back at them. He tried for a moment to repeat the declaration but started rhyming and embarrassed himself.

2012 NaNoWriMo Excerpt #2

Another excerpt can be found here: /2012/11/12/nanowrimo-excerpt-1/

(This takes place before that one.) Comments appreciated.


The Information Market bustled. The woman used to take the way through it home because it was quicker.

The ceiling here speckled with stars, also had tiny disclaimers about ‘accurate representation’.

“Young lady!” screamed the man in the hat. He wore a garish reflecting suit and he bought and sold information for a living. He grabbed at the young woman’s neck with his hooked cane and eventually dragged her to his dais, where he knelt with one arm on his knee and looked into her eyes. “You can’t fool me. I know you were there, I saw the incident report with my own eyes. How’s about we make a deal?”

She wriggled loose from his cane (the only way to do this was unfortunately to move forward just a bit, and then duck; the Garish man smiled at her when they were this close) and rubbed her shoulderblades. “How about no, leave me alone.”

“You’re never gonna get a deal as good as this, I promise you. I have some bona fide ancient information, it arrived here from the Divers just a moment ago – I swear, this is the hot stuff! Tell you what, free of charge I’m gonna tell you the first bit, if you just will tell me your name, pretty one.” Read the rest of this entry »

NaNoWriMo Excerpt #1

I am losing interest in telling this story well but there should be salvageable things after the month is over and writing can return to a more reasonable pace.


The Information Market seemed to breathe, or have a pulse. But it was nothing but a layer-3 suborganism and its ebb and flow was no more than that of the ocean.

Its pulse quickened, though. Garish stepped out onto a podium while three or four ghosts of him moved around on the floor like it was some sort of dance. His suits were black and grey now, his hat shorter and flatter. One of his ghosts stopped dead in front of a short hunchback.

“Why hello there, gorgeous,” he said though she hid her face. “How do you feel about a transaction?”

Her hunch seemed to twitch and she turned away. Garish stretched out his cane to poke her on the back with it but she turned around and ripped it from his grip. “What do you want?” There was a veil over her face now.

“How about, I hand you this –” he held up a small information ball like the one he’d given to Rovy a few hours earlier – “which is an extensive guide to dieting and taking care of one’s body. All I want for exchange is a little personal information from you.”

“I’m not telling you anything and I don’t need that.” Her voice was like gravel and grit.  Read the rest of this entry »