Brandon Hobson



(I) 10 October, 2319. The Plan.

son: Blackie and I are to kidnap her. That's the plan.
dad: Why.
son: We're in love.
dad: Why.
son: I don't know. The heart is obscure. Strange.
dad: She's something to fall sideways for, except for the cleft palate and stuttering. Not to mention she loathes both of you.
son: Exactly. Which, precisely, is why we need to kidnap her.
dad: You'll need disguises, then.

(II) 13 October, 2319. Notes From the Lab:

We'll wear disguises and headsets and hide in the bushes outside her window. Blackie's trained Fredrick, his goose, to speak fluent French and sing beautifully. Fredrick will sing "Ma Vie En Rose" while Blackie strums along on the mandolin.

(III) 15 October, 2319. Recorded Conversation Regarding The Fundamental Ideology of the Victim's Athetotic Speech and its Relation to Radio Frequency

"There's one small problem. I've done my research. In the electronic e.g.f., A Psychoanalytic Study of Female Sexuality and Its Relation to Radio Frequencies, by a bespectacled hunk of a woman named Eda Van, figure 37.c in "Chapter 3: High Frequency (HF) 3.0-30 MHz" there's a poorly sketched ionosphere with italic text that only partially explains the problem of signals not getting absorbed from the ionosphere without any tiny vee.(D). worth of reaction."
      "What awesome piece of vital info. figure 37.c's italic text fails to mention is that towards the upper end of the (EEE) thexynyep/TT wattage stabilizer, absorption at its best becomes even more agitated, staticky, severe…"
      "Go on."
      "Not to mention even though the transmitter's signal at a good 7.0 Mhz's away from centerbase/ground can actually be heard."
      "Oh, so this being a tremendous distance, and this distance of course being the only molecule of good news for us so far?"
      "Right on brother. There may be a shitload number of naethtwot reflections, as opposed to the few naethtwim reflections, which to me seems of extreme importance since distinguishing 'twot' from 'twim' is no easy feat—yet another gem of info. Van neglected to include."
      "So absorption becomes severe before it arrives so that, in the end, any sort of fingered prediction of delay—bearing in mind NOT in contrast with Very Low Frequency Waves (VLF) to (HF) WAVES) yes..yes! I repeat: any sort of serious fingered prediction concerning delay is damn near hopeless, and I'd wager both my nuts that any bearded radio technician can tell you in about 7.25 microseconds with rabbit ears up his ass that the ionosphere's irregularities so-called 'bouncing around' and 'ungentle movement' is the whole ironic crux of the signal's impotence."
      "At best it could fade in and out."
      "Ah, I see. It makes sense! Compare it to sexual references. Compare it to maybe performance anxiety, which, besides being a subject I'm so despondently familiar with, also brings to mind the similarities of the pattern of speech disorders in the cerebral cortex among children under age 10, which if in this case happens to result in ghastly receptive aphasia, then odds are a good 3/5 that the whole fundamental ideology instead of sounding polemical here actually turns out to be clueless banal horseshit, end of discussion."
      "Right. You are correct."
      "So now what?"
      "Good question."

(IV) 19 October, 2319. Notes From the Lab:

Finished the e.g.f.. Eda Van somehow still manages to provide the weirdest and yet most detailed account of the differences between athetotic and spastic speech and stuttering as they pertain, in various ways, to psychological and sexual tension. This is very interesting to me. Picture two meaty women on serious steroids, freshly showered and toweled off, naked and grinning gap-toothed at each other while lying on a bearskin rug, when suddenly one of the women's sinuses becomes clogged right in the middle of her authoritative confession—and you'll have an dea of what Van here is talking about when she mentions that nasality in speech simply results from stress-related paralysis of the palatal muscles. The whole fundamental basis of Van's thesis concerning sexual anxiety and paralysis in women is to fall sideways for.

(V) 23 October, 2319. The Event:

The abrupt event unfolds to an ending as thus: A few hours before dawn, and Blackie and I are in the bushes, at least 100 yards from each other. Poor Fredrick is down with the flu, but he's agreed to sing. The silence of the night is like perfect gravity in harmony with the universe. At the precise moment, Blackie begins strumming his mandolin, playing with all his will like his green card depends on it.
I'm unclear if my headset is working. Blackie says something but all I receive is static in my ear. Fredrick, poor sick fowl, fluuters his wings and begins singing, under her window.
      After a moment the silhouette appears in the dim light of the window, from above.
      "It's her!" I whisper in my mic. "See it? It's her."
      Static crackles in my ear.
      I hesitate with the horror that my headset is not functioning correctly.
      "Hello out there," I whisper hoarsely. "Hello. I'm getting interference. Hello out there. Can. You. Hear. Me."
      A crackle of static. In the window, the silhouette looks magnificent and is frozen. Fredrick stops singing and makes a gagging sound. Suddenly vomits something brown on the lawn.
      From below, the sihouette in the window slowly shrinks, walking away, until there is nothing left to see—just an unopened window in an unstutterable dim light.


If it means anything, and I'm sure it doesn't, the inspiration came from listening to Urge Overkill's "Today is Blackie's Birthday." The story has absolutely nothing to do with the song. The piece is excerpted from something quite a bit longer, but altered, distorted, mostly disguised except for the dialogue. To avoid sounding cliche, I've always felt like good fiction should be meditative and cool and make you look at something in a different way. I was interested in a futuristic glimpse of two young psychopaths planning a kidnap. These two, being highly cerebral and smart and weird, are actually bumbling schmucks, more interested in radio frequencies and athetotic speech disorders/stuttering than they are to their intentions and the consequences regarding kidnapping the girl with the cleft palate.