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A Bomb and I

I walked on the messy translucent membranes on the thin, rickety, folding frames I pushed down and back with my feet. When I reached the drop, I tore the membrane and got down through it (it pulled up my shirt); to slow my descent I let my hand slowly tear down through the membranes I passed, and parts of the upper frames were dragged down with me under my arms.

In the buildings below, the great warehouse rooms full of freight, I made my way, not expecting to see any people. Yet I did: and they were in casual clothes at that. They walked to a door on the far side of the room, but one saw me. I hoped they would take no notice, but she spoke on a phone (a mobile phone shaped like an old-fashioned telephone), and a small person or young child happened soon upon me in a network of aisles between stacked pallets of boxes; this small person also took out a phone which looked even more old-fashioned.

They set a bomb doll on me. It was a farm boy shape, only a little shorter than the small person, and walked quickly towards me with an angry expression. I kicked it and threw it near the killers, so it would explode on them if they didn’t disarm it, but they must have set the time on it longer than I thought, as they calmly sent it back to me.

I decided to make friends with it; I held it and spoke to it. Its yellow, chin-length, slightly wavy hair was of one piece with its head. Its mouth also could not open, which was just as well: with a thumping sound, it was trying to bite my hand.

I went to the shop in those buildings: the shop keeper was a tall, thin, brown rabbit, so was safe. I asked for the mystic ingredient “Gam Calustra Gama Guma”.

“A rare one certainly,” the shopkeeper said, “but I must only scratch my head a bit.” It scratched its head with the tip of one long ear. “I believe it may be on the third set of shelves, on the left.” It pointed also with one of its ears, the other ear curling in an arch.

I found what I needed, and at a wooden desk there in the shop I mixed the mixture and applied it to the bomb doll’s head. Something must have been wrong, as its arms disintegrated: the mixture must have taken off the hands “so that it could not do anything”. I prepared the mixture again, and applied it. I could see that the bomb was disarmed, but as the angry expression of the doll’s face could not move, I could not tell if it was rubbing itself against my leg in friendship or trying to bite me again. I asked if it was my friend, and it nodded, so I decided to call it, “Hueford”.


This was a dream I dreamed the night before last – with a few things described more clearly than I remember them, and a few things added in a state at least partly awake, such as the name “Hueford”. I prayed to have a particularly interesting dream (all my dreams are interesting to me), and God knew I loved to remember words and such that came from a dream – such was the name of the curious ingredient, “Gam Calustra Gama Guma”, which according to dream knowledge had to do with rabbits in some way.

(It only struck me just last evening that the dream made a pun: disarming a bomb by taking its arms off.)

The Nature of the Surreal

(In this case the Surreal I discuss refers in particular to the Surreal arm of the OOMlich hex, which defines “OOM”).

The Surreal is in a sense the culmination of fantasy. Where fiction can express what history cannot, by imaginary events, fantasy can express what fiction cannot, by imaginary creatures, imaginary abilities, imaginary worlds.

In the same way, the Surreal can express what simpler fantasy cannot, by an experience entirely on imaginary grounds: every part of the Surreal may come from the invention of imagination.

Continue reading “The Nature of the Surreal”

Why Demolition is a Good Job for a Writer

So, my income pretty much all comes from a cleaning job I have; a pastor handed it to us around the second week after we were in the country, and it’s been a huge blessing. Most everything major I’ve bought (like my computer and my smatchet 🤠) was because of this job.

Recently a cleanup project came up for a demolition job in the top floor of a five-storey building. We cart away all the pieces of walls and such that they’re taking out, and also help with the demolishing. I could write out a good-sized list of reasons why I like this project in particular: it’s nearby, so Papa doesn’t have to take so much time to get us there; we can actually talk to the person in charge of the project (not the case with most of our cleanup jobs); the people we’re working with are friendly; it has an amazing view (the vultures we often see flying around the area actually fly past the windows and perch on the balcony); our boss got some splendid respirators which are absolutely a relief for not breathing dust; and other cool things.

There’s one interesting benefit I’d like to talk about. I like to divide up types of effort into three kinds: speed, thoroughness, and carefulness. These are labels, of course, not exactly what the words normally mean. “Speed” doesn’t refer necessarily to how fast your limbs move, but refers to how much progress is made in how little time. “Carefulness” has to do with how much risk is avoided, how much is done to reduce it, not necessarily how hesitantly or deliberately one moves. “Thoroughness” is how much is done to make the product polished and perfect, intricate, detailed, large, and so on, rather than simply how completely it is done.

To put more effort in one of these categories one must take it out of the other two: you have to be less thorough and careful to have more speed, etc. Various people have preferences, and various jobs require various ratios of the three kinds of effort.

I generally prefer working most in thoroughness, next speed, then carefulness. However, when my work doesn’t have to do with my passion (the OOMlich, the strange and surreal), it is a very great relief when that work does not require the thoroughness kind of effort.

Which makes demolition perfect. It requires mainly speed and carefulness, very little thoroughness (there’s not many intricate ways to kick a piece of drywall in half). Since the job isn’t directly part of my focus (it has supported it greatly), it is a blessing that it uses an effort of a different kind.

That’s why I think demolition is a probably a good job for writers and artist types as a support job for their passion. I like it for now, anyway. 😊

Cover Reveal for “Travesty London, and the Sceptre of St. Ezra”

At last!

The story is about a detective who searches dreams for clues. He investigates a theft brought about by a demon, the theft of the Sceptre of St. Ezra, a relic kept in the Church of the Pillar of Cloud.

He is faced with many curious obstacles: an invisible curse, a monster that can turn itself to adamant, a shadow that is cast by nothing, a computer error, etc.

He also makes one very curious friend.

Here’s the cover!

(I’ll probably still be doing a few edits on it).