Friday, January 31, 2014

Stargate?

This is a piece of art that a city selected to plop down in a median between busy roads, in addition to a number of other interesting works throughout the city.  But what if this piece of art was more than it seemed?  Maybe it's an ancient Stargate, or a portal to a magical realm, or allows people to 'slide' into a parallel universe.  Or, maybe it really is just a big, costly piece of taxpayer-funded art.  Write a little Flashy Fiction about it.

16 comments:

  1. My flashy fiction came out as a rhymed message:

    Co-pilot, Through the Portal

    I tuck you softly into bed
    In clouds that form above my head,
    Please rest in peace, watch over me
    I've learned to fly alone to be
    The Me that dreamt but could not shed
    the doubt of course, that was instead
    A life of lessons... fear and dread
    of how to fly your plane instead.


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    1. Now that's cool. I love it, Henri. It has so many meanings, according to the reader's mindset and background. Keep this little number. It's a winner.

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  2. FOR THE SAKE OF ART

    Ed Nelson was not fond of traveling. He got seasick at the mere mention of the ocean. You'd never get him on an airplane. The pressure nearly made him pass out once. It seem that headache would never go away. Trains were OK, but they took too damn long. Having his choice, Ed would have rather stayed put.

    That's why his colleagues found it strange that Nelson decided to drive to the consortium. It was cramped in his small compact car. And the drive would take longer than any mode available to him. Longer than even taking the train.

    Ed Nelson did alright for himself in his sales position. But he had run into a brick wall. He hadn't advanced his station in years; though he'd have been made a full partner by now. Instead he found himself hauling ass down the interstate to cross state lines before darkness set in.

    Up ahead in a clearing he saw it. A Farris wheel, he thought. Or the maddening loop of one of those anti-gravity roller coasters. But as he neared the structure, Ed was sure he had no idea what it was. A sculpture maybe? He laughed loudly. It could be a Druid icon! What ever it was, it looked hideous on the side of the road.

    Between exits this monolithic doughnut stood, maybe fifty feet high - a monstrosity. Interwoven like a wreath, bars and crosses, spheres that appeared as heads of some civilization climbing to the heavens. He was so taken by the piece of "art", Ed Nelson hadn't noticed the line of people.

    Standing at the gaping portal were approximately 40 people dressed in white waiting their turn. On this grey and depressing afternoon, Nelson saw blue skies through the opening. There was sunshine. It was a beautiful day. But only inside the ring. He pulled to the shoulder of the road near the median and stepped out of his car to investigate. Apparently not dressed for the occasion, Nelson was stared at and ignored.

    Taking a place at the end of the cue, he tapped the shoulder of a pleasant looking older woman.

    "Excuse me Ma'am" Ed began. "What's going on here?"

    "Young man, do you see this monument?" she said softly. "It is the way out of your despair. Through that opening... is redemption!"

    "Redemption" Ed Nelson repeated. It sounded nice. He was in need of a change. The "rat race" would have to carry on without him.

    But suddenly, the crowd stared to disperse. He stood confused.

    "HEY!" he called. "Where's everyone going? What about redemption?"

    One man looked at Nelson and then back at the sculpture.

    "Redemption? It's an ugly piece of art!" the man said incredulously! "Do you have any idea how much of our tax dollar are tied into this... this shit!"

    'Then why is it here?" Ed Nelson finally wanted to know.

    The elderly woman who have duped Nelson earlier overheard the question.

    "You moron, it's art... for the sake of Art, you nabob!" she stormed away with the rest of the crowd. Ed Nelson felt foolish and greatly let down, standing by himself. He never saw the placard.

    "SPHINCTER" dedicated to the people of this Great State by Governor Art Decoupage.

    "Art for Art's sake" he thought to himself. What a waste of resources! It was only fitting this piece was named after it's patron!

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    1. I have to admit, Walt, I didn't see that twist coming. Great job. I laughed for several minutes over this one. It would never have occurred to me to run the story this way. You haven't lost your touch, my friend. It's still finding pulses none of us could see. :)

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  3. Most onlookers called it an eyesore, a barbed-wire circle going nowhere. Vehicles in a hurry to pass through the little dinky town seemed to find the few minutes it took to stop and take photos of the mysterious thing, perhaps to show folks back home that towns and cities were still building time-wasting nonsense on ground better used for growing flowers or even potatoes.

    "What the heck is it, Fred?

    "Darned if I know, Tessie. Looks like a big circle you can't touch 'less you're lookin' to slice up your hand on that there wire."

    "Come on, Tessie. We got miles to go before we get there. Ain't nothin' special here."

    I've seen them come and go with their pixel-loaded cameras and their derogatory remarks about Glen Ridge and the Big Nothing in the center of town. I've listened to them play guessing games as to what it was, inane hunches meant more to belittle Glen Ridge than to unravel the mystery of Franklin Zesta's work of art.

    Oh, did I not mention Franklin Zesta before? The man was a genius. To say less would be a blatant lie. They said he created art with his head in the clouds of some fantasy kingdom where he pilfered ideas and brought them coursing down his arms, down to his hands that molded the clay, then the steel or the bronze. A genius who died too soon. Some say he lost interest in life when Millicent passed away. The woman who he claimed gave meaning to his art, the woman who affectionately called him "Frankie Boy," despite being in his fifties, hardly handsome, and certainly out of earshot of those Hollywood agents who search even remote towns like Glen Ridge for new talent, fodder for the film-churning producers who produced, not art, but worthless drivel about reactionary dramas, lost souls on drugs, love trys gone so impalpably sour that viewers left the theaters appreciative of what little love they had.

    "What did Zesta call it?" my wife asked on one of our walks to the barbed-wire piece. It was spring, the perfect season to lollygag and admire what we could little understand.

    "He never titled any of his pieces until he completed them. Sort of an idiosyncrasy of his –– the artistic temperament and all that, you know. Then pneumonia hit him hard, which he played down. 'So many projects waiting in the wings,' he told Doc Sims. 'I can't take time to rest up in a hospital bed, Doctor. I've got work to do!' And it wasn't more than two weeks later he collapsed, was rushed to that hospital bed where he died shortly after."

    "Without naming this," said my wife.

    We headed towards the car.

    "Without naming it," I said.

    Once in the car, I turned the wheel into a full U-turn circle, and said, "Maybe it's a U-turn we all make in life. We plod along doing what we think makes sense, those deeds we're convinced can eventually bring us happiness, then we wake up recalling the happier days when we had less and were less, but we miss those days and we try our best to turn our lives around and head back."

    Kate looked at me and said, "Yeah, but it's a circle. There is no getting back. You just keep going back and ending up where you started, over and over again."

    I didn't respond to that. I nodded and smiled. Kate had a good mind. She could argue a point with the best of them. Finally, I said, "Speaking of circles, how about we take a ride to Giorgio's Pizzera and have ourselves a tomato pie that goes round and round –– "

    "No matter how you slice it!"

    We laughed like we did when we first met.

    In the rear view mirror I glanced at the diminishing circle, its jagged wires radiating like a steel sun, and wondered about Franklin Zesta. Was he up there looking down? Was he still fashioning art pieces to ooh and aah the angels and saints?

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    1. Ah, Sal, this is such a marvelous piece of sweetness and reflection, a piece of philosophy made whole by the story it tells. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And the title says it all really. The whole story came full circle too. Write some more, Sal. And don't forget to share.

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  4. The title of my flash is "And the Circle Goes Round and Round"

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  5. http://flashyfiction.blogspot.com/2014/01/stargate.html
    Stargate? Sculpter

    Astute Art

    Artemis would not wear a wreath upon her head.And yet she wanted to
    respect all those who paid her homage. She took all the garlands left at
    her temples and saved them, and gave them to one man - who then in
    his dreams was instructed by soothing voice and creative vision the
    wear-with-all to construct a lasting monument.

    While some scoffed at the waste of what was thought valuable time and
    resources - he swore every was recycled material. After the installation,
    the artist seemed to vanish. But Artemis had taken him by the hand and
    set him free on a tropical island where he happily now carves coconut
    shells for the children of his Polynesian wife.

    ©JP/davh

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    1. Oh, good one, Jules. Love it. A tiny myth in the midst of the mundane. Good for you.

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  6. Portal

    He wanted it accessible but not easily reachable. Visible. So he placed it between two busy roads, knowing most of the population would see it as a piece of modern art. Some of course, would shake their head in disgust and still others wouldn’t notice it at all, too busy within their own fast paced lives.
    So there it sat.

    There was of course whispers of rumors. A flash of blue light seen from a distance or was it white. Silhouettes of people just before the sun rose, there one second and then gone. All the rumors where written off as being the drunken dreams of the sleep deprived or the intoxicated. Just illusions.

    Then one day a massive storm system was moving across the nation. Leaving death and destruction in its wake in some places and much needed rain in others. Between two busy roads the wind was blowing the rain horizontal, thunder rumbled so loudly it felt as if it came from the ground up. The light show was one that was talked about for years. In the middle of this violent storm system came a flash of blue light and there in the middle of the day, before the many fighting the elements on two busy roads, stood two women and two men. They walked into the circle of blue light and simply disappeared, taking the blue light with them.

    This time too many people had the same hallucination. When the storm cleared, they gathered. Slowly at first, then the media came, then the military. Some touched it and some just watched. Then without a sound the center of the circle filled with blue light. A man and woman stepped out of the blue light, they weren’t alone.

    We aren’t alone.

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    1. Wonderful, Michelle. I wonder if the travel is dimensional or time-related. Tell me, did you craete this to puzzle even as it entertained, to ask a question of whether we would enter or stand aside while others traveled. Which comes closer to the truth.

      Thoroughly enjoyable. :)

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  7. The Circle Thing

    I came across an oddity
    Something glowing in front of me
    I had to stop so I could see
    This oddity
    What could it be?

    I stopped along the highway side
    An interruption to my ride
    My curiosity would not subside
    I must confide
    I was mystified

    The cold air hit me like a brick
    The wind was strong, the air was thick
    I wonder why this spot they picked
    On which to stick
    This thing so slick

    I walked toward this circle thing
    It didn’t look like anything
    But pipes and balls and other things
    This circle thing
    Was baffling

    When I got close I heard a sound
    A sound that came from all around
    From left, from right, from up and down
    My ears did pound
    With this strange sound

    Then something happened suddenly
    The oddity grabbed hold of me
    I could not move; I could not flee
    What could this be
    A hold of me?

    Caught firmly in its force field snare
    My body lifted into the air
    It dragged me through the circle where
    I said a prayer
    To quell my scare

    What I found on the other side
    White beaches and an emerald tide
    Astonished look I could not hide
    I stood wide-eyed
    I thought I’d died

    I looked about to take it in
    Such beauty I could not begin
    To put in words what lied within
    That circle thing
    That sucked me in

    Then suddenly with warning none
    I found myself where I’d begun
    The cold wind like a BB gun
    It stung and stung
    And more it stung

    I wanted so to fly back through
    I walked around it and tried hard to
    Find that portal, or find any clue
    With no way through
    I sadly withdrew

    Back to my car I trudged once more
    Climbed back inside and shut the door
    Looked back at the circle thing once more
    Where it was before
    It stood no more

    What happened to this oddity?
    Or was it plain insanity?
    Had my brain played a trick on me?
    Did I really see
    This oddity?

    This happened many years ago
    With blowing wind and falling snow
    On a highway heading to I don’t know
    What made it glow?
    I had to know

    I’ve traveled many roads since then
    But soon my traveling days will end
    I hope my eternal soul They’ll send
    Once again
    Through the circle thing

    © 2014 Earl Parsons

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    1. Earl, that was magnificent. What a ride. I loved it. The rise and fall of pacing was a roller coaster of expectation. The ending was perfect, with its regret and its hope. Well done, my friend. Well done.

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  8. This is my first attempt here in a long time and I have followed the poetic line, only because it was the first thing that came to mind when I saw and read the prompt this morning. We'll see how it flies.



    Soul Cycle

    They called it art;
    A circle of metal
    Standing between roads
    Moving in opposite directions.

    They called it art;
    Spikes, bars, darkness and light,
    Flowing in circular movement
    A never-ending dance in view.

    They called it art;
    Though few spoke of the
    Smaller circles pierced by spikes,
    Forever climbing toward the next.

    They called it art;
    Never knowing souls climbed there,
    Ever-pursuing rungs not achieved
    On roads moving in opposite directions.



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  9. Poetry in motion. Those souls bound, unable to release themselves - who can help them?

    Thanks for your comment - it is sometimes difficult to remember to come back and check the comments, as Google doesn't have notifications. ~Jules

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    1. I know the feeling, Jules. Thanks for the comment. It's much appreciated. I must say that this was my first response to the image. And I haven't been able to move away from it. Go figger. :)

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