The New, New Normal.

“In case its passed anyone by,” Professor of Psychology Daniel Moccasin said, as he tapped the knuckles of his left hand against the wall-mounted presentation screen-still displayed in front of the small class, “things have changed. And by this, I mean things have changed again. We now face a new, new normal. One that no one could have predicted, not even if they’d had a crystal ball could they have done so, no…” He paused and looked around at the clueless expressions tied to the front of each student’s face. A hand went up, emerging confidently from the back row of the classroom. “Yes, Butterley, isn’t it? Stand up, what have you got to say for yourself?”

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Dead Giveaway

Alright, Oliver I am totally fed-up with this conversation.” Charlotte said, her smouldering eyes staring out one thousand yards across the vast void that was their marbled dining hall. Beyond the red Jarrah hardwood dinner table and chairs, the mirror-panelled wall reflected back her expression into Oliver’s view. He felt a twinge of sorrow for her, which he kept to himself.
“Great! I’m relieved, its felt like an intensive interrogation for over the last twenty minutes.”

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Natural Blue

1.
If you take a jolly good look around – and I mean a rootin’-tootin’ jolly good look around, there aren’t many women in the world with naturally blue hair. Very, very, few, as evidenced by the facts. Hair scientists say this rare phenomena occurs due to a specific genetic defect caught unawares, buried deep, about halfway down within the spiral structure of our DNA.

Conversely, as a committed appreciator, I say naturally blue hair is the eighth wonder of the world, a biological miracle, invoking a sense of much awesomeness. No less, I say, than a heavenly blessing from God’s can’t-leave-it-alone tinkering fingers. Still, to this very day, I can recall in reasonable-to-fair detail, the circumstances as a young teen, when I saw my very first one.

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Spin Cycle

Folding clean clothes
in a front-facing bedroom, now spare
through the window listless I stare

Until I spy
riding high
upon a small bicycle

This pink-faced giant of a white-haired old man
stopped with his pedalling
a’coasting and a’buzzing

Leaning into a sharp loop
he pulls up outside the tavern
attempts a quick and clean dismount

Nay! Something’s amiss!
Something goes wrong
he’s caught up in the waver of a mid-air kiss

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Bessie’s Aim

Bessie waited impatiently as the paper target neared her, carried along by the antiquated, creaky rope pulley-system. Meanwhile, a twisting plume of grey-coloured smoke wisped out slowly from the barrel of an H&K semi automatic Universelle Selbstladepistole Elite 45, left abandoned on the counter top before her.

As the light bulb overhanging her shooting booth flickered briefly, she heard movement coming from behind.

“Do you think – perhaps – that you might need glasses?” A male voice rang out into the desolate aural soundscape.

Startled, Bessie spun around aggressively, to find herself staring directly into the rich brown-coloured eyes of a man several units of measurement taller than herself. The stranger had a kindly face. Immediately, she believed his words of wisdom had emerged from an altruistic place, quite probably released from deep within his velvety heart.

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Frozen Ball

“Doctor, how do you expect me to take you seriously? It can’t be who you say it is.” Nurse Anna Kuznetsov declared. “It’s the year 1955, was he not supposed to have died nearly ten years ago to-the-day and in such a fashion as to leave no trace of his body?”

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The Blue-Haired Women

JOURNAL FRAGMENT
(Annotation by Brinkinfield)

Sunday July 4th, 2120 (Possible typo? How could it be ~100 years in the future?)
They’re everywhere now, the blue-coloured hair women, swamping city streets, filling up bars and restaurants, taking over businesses, banks, major conglomerates, media outlets and universities. I’ll be lucky if I’ll find work as an accountant in this county, ever again.

(Monday and Tuesday, entries torn out from journal)

Wednesday, July 7th, 2120
Three days in a row now, I’ve woken up to find a blue hair coloured woman posted outside my cottage (and all down the street, outside the neighbours, too). Earlier, I went out to ask of her business and she forcibly pushed me, with her hand flat against my chest, back through the front door without saying a word. I’ve got to say, I thought her pretty hot, but it’s no excuse for rudeness!

(Thursday page, blank)

Friday, July 9th, 2120
I tried to go out this morning, with my food shopping list, fridge is empty. The blue hair woman pushed me back again, growling and baring her teeth at me! When I turned to bolt back inside, she slapped my bottom cheeks hard, left and right! Both are still stinging, seated on a cushion as I write-up this entry. After I’d regained my composure and pride, I went back to the front door, got on my knees and shouted through the letterbox, telling her I’d already alerted the police. When I peered through to gauge a reaction, she turned around and gave me the finger.

Saturday, July 10th, 2120
Midday, the internet is switched off. Nothing but a 404 error message or a question mark symbol centered within a blue square, depending on which site I try. Blue woman is still there. Earlier, she tapped on the kitchen window and pointed towards the front door. She’s got really long, well manicured finger nails. Still think she’s really hot. I found a food box left outside the front door, lots of veg, granola, almond milk and dried soya mix : (

Sunday, July 11th, 2120
4am, I can’t sleep. I can’t stand this ‘no internet’ situation much longer. I might as well be living in a cave. One week isolated and I’ve got absolutely no idea what’s happening on the outside. I’ve decided I’m left with only one option: seduce the bluie, get her onto my side, then see if any other renegades are willing to join us. See if we can’t get the internet back on and life back to some semblance of order!

(Monday page blank)

Tuesday, July 13th, 2120
I’ve written out Bluie’s daily schedule, based upon notes taken yesterday, while observing her closely from the bathroom window. At least now I understand she is armed with the latest Walther pistol, concealed under her dress, the holster strapped to her left thigh. As I watched, she spun the weapon around on her fingers, practised replacing the magazine and aiming. I have to say, she looks pretty handy with it.
At around mid afternoon, she looks tired and bored, several hours still, before she is relieved by the night shift. This gives me plenty of time to enact my plan, venture outside, confront and reason with her to switch sides, locate like-minded folk and form a rebellion. If she refuses, I’ll just have to show her who’s boss. I’ve decided tomorrow’s the big day.

(End of journal, no further entries)

©Brinkinfield 2020 All Rights Reserved
Part of the Ekphrasis Project (story inspired by a picture)

Be Happy

“Okay,” Gina said, “let’s get this straight right from the get-go. I am not your love, do you understand, Euan?” Gina fixed an icy stare onto the awkward young man.
“I’m just saying … ” Euan shuffled his feet and sank his hands deep into his pockets. “Look, why don’t we pop into the museum, grab a coffee in the downstair café?”

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