Monday, January 12, 2009

Short Fiction: 'Adri's Headphones,' by John Hulme

Oy! So busy writing and blogging and PR-ing and customer serving and mocking and...phew!

Amidst all this action-Jackson, I wanted to share another piece of AWESOME from my favorite Brit, John from Smoke Rings & Matterings, who was inspired to write a story about the Angel/Devil headphones from my "Asian Invasion: Cute/Weird Stuff I Want from Japan" post. (PS: to my right - sweetest fan art....ever???)

I've checked out a bunch of his other fiction, and I recommend you do the same - he has one of those imaginations that's just off-the-charts incredible. In fact, I'm a bit jealous (see my previous post about my imagination gone missing).

So here it is - an insightful piece from John that actually brought tears to my eyes by the end. It's funny when people you've never met IRL really get you.

Click "Read More" to read Adri's Headphones!

Adri's Headphones
by John Hulme

"They always told us not to stroke the aliens -

"not to pet them, or cuddle them, and especially not to feed them.

"There was plenty of grazing space out on the open nebula. They didn't need to come down here, nibbling on tasty crumbs of quiet awe and wild imaginings from startstruck space tourists. It was just greed on their part, and we did them no favours by encouraging them.

"Besides, we could see their flocking displays perfectly well from the observation domes - so there was really no need to seek closer contact. Why take the risk?

"Everyone knew that contact with the aliens was fraught with danger.

"But I just couldn't resist. This was the chance to stare into a totally new set of eyes and see what galaxies lay beyond them. Back on our homeworld, we had forgotten how to do that a long time ago..."

Adri reached up and yanked the phones out of her ears.

"What the hell was that?" she found herself asking aloud. "I didn't even make a connect..."

Suddenly, she looked up at the little cloud hanging over her head.

OK, she thought, this is officially weird.

The toaster wasn't burning, the oven wasn't on... so why was there a small, perfectly-formed cloud hanging in the middle of the kitchen? And why were her earphones plugged into it? She was sure she'd plugged them into her laptop... hadn't she?

Do clouds even have connection points?

As she was pondering these things, the cloud quickly dissolved, allowing the headphone connection to drop harmlessly onto the kitchen table.

As she picked it up, a low tingle of excitement began to tingle somewhere in Adri's steadily hyperventilating chest.

She looked again at the little earphones, moulded into a cute, blobby alien design. Even though they were now no longer connected to anything, she placed them carefully back into her ears, and listened:

"Welcome to a whole new Universe," said the space girl's voice.

As Adri looked down at the end of the headphone cable, she could see a small cloud beginning to form around it. Small glowing pieces of micro-asteroid swirled and flared around the tabletop, orbiting two spoons and an unwashed mug.

"You made a success of things yet, Adri?" asked the space-girl voice through the haunted headphones. "Have you become the latest rising star? Have you reached your true creative potential? Your earning power? Have you carved your neat little niche in the world yet?

"Because, you see, I can't help you with any of that. I can't make this world work for you, and I'm not sure I'd even care to try."

A small flock of miniature, ripple-bodied aliens flew out of the cloud and nested quietly over the cooker.

"But I can certainly help you with the other stuff," continued the space girl.

"I can help with those moments when you're looking out of the window and the street feels strangely empty, like a long trail of unanswered heartbeats pounding out to the horizon, daring you to find something that'll fill the hole that's suddenly opened up inside you.

"When most people feel that, they turn away from the window, turn on the TV and try to forget it ever happened. But not you. When you see that empty road, you're just aching to find something that'll fill the empty space - so that the next time you're staring into the street, or the broken TV, or the guy next door, or that girl in the cafe who could so easily be your friend if you just knew the words...

"I can make it so that the next time you see any of those things, you'll have something better to say.

"So come with me, Adri, and let's see just how far you can go."

1 comment:

Lucy Vonne said...

I wish I had foreign men sending me personalized stories and pictures. Yous is special.

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