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Author: RJC

The Various Futures of Farlo Breeze: Chapter One

The Various Futures of Farlo Breeze: Chapter One

Farlo-Breeze-Cover-8

For many, many years, I’ve been squirreled away writing a thing called The Various Futures of Farlo Breeze, and so in effort to prove to people I’m not just being antisocial, I’ve decided to share the first chapter. Over the next few weeks, I hope to follow it with excerpts from other chapters as they catch my eye.

Please keep in mind it’s a work in progress, it’s far from perfect, and will, I’m sure, completely change by the time I finish the final draft (should such a day arrive).

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy. Feel free to send feedback and comments either via my official Facebook page (link at right), the Contact link above (for email) or, in exactly four words from now, click on the newborn Farlo Breeze Facebook Page link!

Muchas gracias!

RJC


The Various Futures of Farlo Breeze

Chapter One: The Irony of Smart-food

30 Years from Next Wednesday

Farlo Breeze stared at the holoscreen and tried to cultivate an air of concentration. He couldn’t do it. He glanced at the floor beside his desk, where someone had left a cardboard box. His employer was RepliTech, world leader in Replication technologies, and his role was that of Demystification Officer, which involved his delicate infiltration of online conversations, steering them towards the company’s merits. Its merits were few, but they paid him well, which went a long way to allaying his judgement. None of that is very important, however. What matters is he’s about to be fired, and in a week will be running for his life.

The holoscreen flickered: ‘Incoming vid-con from internal channel. Do you accept?’

Farlo nodded. ‘Sure.’

‘Initiating…’ Countless seconds passed. ‘You have been placed on hold. RepliTech understands your time is valuable. While you wait, why not initiate a conversation with Brook, our sentient brochure? We’re sure you’ll find her both informative and enticing.’

Farlo cleared his throat. The holoscreen flickered.

‘We notice you haven’t initiated a conversation with Brook, our sentient brochure. Perhaps you’d prefer to chat with Brian, our sentient brochure.’

Farlo blinked a few times. The screen flickered.

‘You are still on hold.’

He sighed and looked at the ceiling. ‘Baby Christ on a-’

The screen flashed, presenting Brad, his simulated hair and sculpted face the more expensive features of his coding. ‘Hi,’ he chimed. ‘I’m Brad, Replitech’s sentient liaison.’

Farlo’s face paled. ‘Oh, Christ, no.’ His wide gaze dropped to the box beside his desk, now basking in its new-found relevance and value.

‘I know what you’re thinking,’ Brad nodded. ‘This couldn’t have come at a worse possible time. But let me assure you there will always be a place for you in the RepliTech family. You could fill out employee satisfaction surveys. Or you can continue to purchase RepliTech’s fine products and fill out customer satisfaction surveys. The possibilities are numerous.’

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The Gatherers: Excerpt

The Gatherers: Excerpt

The Gatherers
The Gatherers: the first installment in an ongoing horror survival series.

The Gatherers came in the dead of night.

They don’t need touch, they don’t need sight.

Button your lip and make no sound

For the Gatherers have come to town.


 It’s hard for us to piece it all together. Where we are now. What we’ve lost. But as hard as it is, it’s vital that we do, because every story is one of a finite number we have left.

The Gatherers came. You woke up and this was the world. And say all you want about the one left behind – with its complacency, detachment, its increasing isolation – but say it knowing that without those faults you wouldn’t be saying anything. Because you have to admit it’s ironic; that those with their heads up their arses are the ones who have lasted the longest, and those who fought to reverse those trends – who raged against our annihilation – they were the first to fall. Ironic that such compassion would be their undoing.

I didn’t love her, the girl I was with. This isn’t one of those stories. I would have liked to have gotten to know her enough for that, but that’s a different world. I was there because she had dragged me there and she was hot enough to do it without me complaining.

Sometimes I’m glad she did. If she hadn’t I might have been with friends, or would have called my family and tried to rendezvous. And sometimes I wish I could. In my darkest moments, sometimes I wish I could just run to someone, anyone, and embrace them and end it all. In my darkest moments… I’ve been so close to that…

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The Specular – Eerie Series #12

The Specular – Eerie Series #12

I’ve been quiet for a long time, which isn’t unlike me in regards to posting on this site (in fact it’s the trend). Writing has taken a backseat to study as I begin the long road toward a Bachelor of Writing and Publishing. But it’s rare that I have something I want to announce but have to wait until I get the green light from the powers that be.

I’m happy to say that time has come.

In 2011 I was asked by Penguin Publishing to draft a story for an upcoming series they had planned, the Eerie Series, by S Carey, a series of 13 scary tales for the brave aged 9 to 12 (and the older and younger audience with strong mental constitutions).

After much writing, drafting, redrafting and editing, my submission, The Specular, has been accepted for inclusion in the series and will make number 12 of 13, scheduled for publication November 2013.

Here’s the promo video released by Penguin on their PenguinKidsTV YouTube channel:

I hope to write a bit more about this when I have the time, and something new to report (a sample, mayhap) so stay tuned…

In the meantime, the Eerie Series is rolling out, with a scary selection of stories now available and a new title each month: click here for available Eerie Series titles!

Happy reading!

Rory J Cole

Snapshot

Snapshot

Every movement I make

Every motion

Can be frozen

To present a frame

A snapshot

Of me at my purest.

And the notion of travel is wrong

For I never move

But the world slides me by

So I am stationary

And the scenery shifts

To present me with happenings

Of blocks the world over.

And I realise this reality is mine alone

And shared with that of everyone

So that I see there is no truth

In perception

 

But rather every moment is frozen in time

And time is what happens when they collide

Watermarks

Watermarks

Watermarks upon the sky

Drift as if to summarise

The rolling scroll of time, but I

Am partial to detail defined.

Max and his Glowing Fridge

Max and his Glowing Fridge

It wasn’t with flair that Max revealed his new fridge to his best friend, Andrew. It wasn’t with grace or humility, either. It was more akin to the way you might say to a friend, ‘Hey, look at this,’ as you lazily point to the strange bug that just landed on your arm, its shell a bright green, its antennae metallic blue.

Andrew blinked a few times, trying to gauge exactly what it was he was looking at, and then offered Max a sideways glance. ‘Have you Googled it?’

Max shook his head. ‘I didn’t think to… Why would I?’

‘And it was here when you moved in?’

Max nodded. ‘It’s one of the reasons I decided to.’

Andrew turned back to the wall and studied the swirling blue patterns. Licks of blue vapour stretched out, almost longing to caress them. ‘I don’t know,’ he said after a long pause. ‘I still reckon what you have here is a vortex.’

‘It’s not a vortex,’ Max said. ‘How could it be a vortex? There’s another apartment right next door. They’d be pretty uppity if the tail of a vortex was passing through their lounge room.’

Andrew offered a small conceding nod. ‘Okay. True. But dude: you practically have to climb into it to get anything.’

‘You do not.’

‘Then get me a beer.’

Max stepped up to the fridge, put his arm through the centre of the circle and felt around. He leant in further, up to his shoulder, and put his other hand on the wall for support.

Andrew raised his eyebrows and was about to declare his point had been made when Max pushed back off the wall with the necks of two ice-frosted beers in his hand. He held one out.

Andrew accepted it and stared back into the fridge as Max turned and headed for the lounge room, his beer hissing as he twisted off its top.

Max was always like this. Every time he moved he would invite Andrew over to offer his expert eye to the new abode, though no matter what potential problems Andrew saw in the new house Max would always write them off as features.

His last apartment had a large crack in the wall by the window, wide enough to fit a hand, through which daylight and weather would seep.

‘Al fresco dining,’ Max had said.

The apartment before that was infested with rats nibbling at the carpet.

‘I don’t have to vacuum,’ Max had declared.

The one before, the lounge room was empty except for the large bladed pendulum swinging from the ceiling.

‘Pizza cutter!’

Andrew heard the television and turned away from the fridge. He took his beer into the lounge room and sat on the couch beside Max. Andrew glanced to the screen, though turned back and looked to the fridge again, glowing brightly from the darkened kitchen. He couldn’t take his eyes off it.

‘Where the hell do you find these places?’

‘Largely word-of-mouth,’ Max said.

Andrew shook his head and turned back to the show. He raised the beer bottle to his lips. Just before it touched he heard footsteps and turned to find three small round men in large hooded fur coats turning about in the kitchen.

‘Wer squi var mar noo pee vor,’ one of them muttered[1]. They turned and stepped back into the fridge.

Andrew stared then turned to Max.

Max shrugged and looked back to the screen. ‘Friends I haven’t met yet,’ he said, and kicked his feet up onto the coffee table and took a sip of his beer.

 


[1] Translation: ‘We’ve made a wrong turn somewhere.’