Category Archives: Fiction

Excerpt from “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess ~~Music~~

The little speakers of my stereo were all arranged round the room, on ceiling, walls, floor, so, lying on my bed slooshying the music, I was like netted and meshed in the orchestra. Now what I fancied first tonight was this new violin concerto by the American Geoffrey Plautus, played by
Odysseus Choerilos with the Macon (Georgia) Philharmonic, so I slid it from where it was neatly filed and switched on and waited.
Then, brothers, it came. Oh, bliss, bliss and heaven. I lay all nagoy to the ceiling, my gulliver on my rookers on the pillow, glazzies closed, rot open in bliss, slooshying the sluice of lovely sounds.
Oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh. The trombones crunched redgold under my bed, and behind my gulliver the trumpets three-wise silverflamed, and there by the door the timps rolling through my guts and out again crunched like candy thunder. Oh, it was wonder of wonders. And then, a bird of like rarest spun heavenmetal, or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now, came the violin solo above all the other strings, and those strings were like a cage of silk around my bed. Then flute and oboe bored, like worms of like platinum, into the thick thick toffee gold and silver. I was in such bliss, my brothers.

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Excerpt from “The Fly” by Richard Chopping ~~Seduction~~

Simmering down, the bovine audience turned, once more, their moons to the sun’s rays of the cinema screen. O’Flattery glanced for a second at his neighbour, the altercation with the attendant having at last broken in on his concentration. He found to his horrified amazement that he was looking into the uneasy orbs of the Office caretaker, which gazed back into his with the sloppy devotion of a pet dog. Not knowing what to do, he smiled involuntarily and was more than surprised to feel a gentle pressure against his leg from the hot thigh next to his. So disgusted was he that he instantly dismissed such a thought, telling himself as he looked fixedly at the screen that he must have been mistaken.
O’Flattery was once more lost in the complexities of the film’s action, caught up in the tension of suspense which permeated the black and white shadow drama which continued to unweave. He moved his legs, as far as he dared, towards the other side of his seat, until the man on that side in his turn gave him a suspicious look. Then he concentrated wholeheartedly on the film. Mrs Macklin oozed seduction, putting all her feminity into her glowing looks, her artful nudges and the sly squeezings of her person against her reluctant neighbour, whose attention, despite the gripping nature of the film, was soon forced to switch once more to flesh and blood human movement, rather than flat photographic images.
Emboldened by the dark, the furtive harpy laid a fat hand upon O’Flattery’s knee. Its effect could not have been more electrifying if she had placed a red hot branding iron upon her prey. He leapt from his seat and careered with flailing limbs down the row, up the aisle and out of the cinema as if a fiend was after him.

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Excerpt from “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez ~~Ice~~

They insisted that their father take them to see the overwhelming novelty of the sages of Memphis that was being advertised at the entrance of a tent that, according to what was said, had belonged to King Solomon. They insisted so much that José Arcadio Buendía paid the thirty reales and led them into the center of the tent, where there was a giant with a hairy torso and a shaved head, with a copper ring in his nose and a heavy iron chain on his ankle, watching over a pirate chest. When it was opened by the giant, the chest gave off a glacial exhalation. Inside there was only an enormous, transparent block with infinite internal needles in which the light of the sunset was broken up into colored stars. Disconcerted, knowing that the children were waiting for an immediate explanation,
José Arcadio Buendía ventured a murmur:
“It’s the largest diamond in the world.”
“No,” the gypsy countered. “It’s ice.”
José Arcadio Buendía, without understanding, stretched out his hand toward the cake, but the giant moved it away. “Five reales more to touch it,” he said. José Arcadio Buendía paid them and put his hand on the ice and held it there for several minutes as his heart filled with fear and jubilation at the contact with mystery. Without knowing what to say, he paid ten reales more so that his sons could have that prodigious experience. Little José Arcadio refused to touch it. Aureliano, on the other hand, took a step forward and put his hand on it, withdrawing it immediately. “It’s boiling,” he exclaimed, startled. But his father paid no attention to him. Intoxicated by the evidence of the miracle, he forgot at that moment about the frustration of his delirious undertakings and Melquíades’ body, abandoned to the appetite of the squids. He paid another five reales and with his hand on the cake, as if giving testimony on the holy scriptures, he exclaimed:
“This is the great invention of our time.”

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Classics Illustrated – Les Misérables ~~Silver~~

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17 February 2018 · 11:05 am

Excerpt from “The Bourne Supremacy” by Robert Ludlum ~~Red Star One~~

It happened, but Bourne was not sure what it was! His left shoulder touched another shoulder and the contact was electric. The man he had grazed first lurched forward and then had swung back with such ferocity that Jason was shoved off-balance. He turned and looked at the man on the police escort motorcycle, then raised his flashlight to see through the dark plastic oval of the helmet.
Lightning struck, sharp, jagged bolts crashing into his skull, his eyes riveted as he tried to adjust to the incredible. He was staring at himself – from only years ago! The dark features beyond the opaque bubble were his! It was the commando! The impostor! The assassin!
The eyes that stared back at him also showed panic, but they were quicker than Webb’s. A flattened, rigid hand lashed out, crashing into Jason’s throat, cutting off all speech and thought.
Bourne fell back, unable to scream, grabbing his neck as the assassin lurched off his motorcycle.
He rushed past Jason and ducked under the rope.
Get him! Take him! … Marie! The words were absent, only hysterical thoughts screaming silently through Bourne’s mind. He retched, exploding the chop in his throat, and leaped over the rope, plunging into the crowd, following the path of fallen-away bodies that had been pummelled by the killer in his race to escape.
‘Stop… him!’ Only the last word emerged from Jason’s throat; it was a hoarse whisper. ‘Let me through!’ Two words were formed but no one was listening. From somewhere near the terminal a band was playing in the downpour.
The path was closed! There were only people, people, people! Find him! Take him! Marie! He’s gone! He’s disappeared! ‘Let me through!’ he screamed, the words now clear but heeded by no one.
He yanked and pulled and bucked his way to the edge of the crowd, another crowd facing him behind the glass doors of the terminal.
Nothing! No one! The killer was gone!
Killer? The kill!
It was the limousine, the lead limousine with the flags of both countries! That was the target!
Somewhere in that car or beneath that car was the timed mechanism that would blow it to the skies, killing the leaders of both delegations. Result – the scenario… chaos. Take-over!
Bourne spun around, frantically looking for someone in authority. Twenty yards beyond the rope, standing at attention as the British anthem was being played, was an officer of the Kowloon police. Clipped to his belt was a radio. A chance! The limousines had started their stately procession towards an unseen gate in the airfield.
Jason yanked the rope, pulling it up, toppling a stanchion, and started running towards the short, erect, Chinese officer. ‘Xun su!’ he roared.
Shemma?’ replied the startled man, instinctively reaching for his bolstered gun.
Stop them! The cars, the limousines! The one in front!’
‘What are you talking about? Who are you?’
Bourne nearly struck the man in frustration. ‘Mossad!’ he screamed.
‘You are the one from Israel? I’ve heard-‘
Listen to me! Get on that radio and tell them to stop! Get everyone out of that car! It’s going to blow! Now!’
Through the rain the officer looked up into Jason’s eyes, then nodded once and pulled the radio from his belt. This is an emergency! Clear the channel and patch me to Red Star One. Immediately.’
All the cars!’ interrupted Bourne. Tell them to peel away!’
Change!’ cried the police officer. ‘Alert all vehicles. Put me through!’ And with his voice tense but controlled, the Chinese spoke clearly, emphasizing each word. ‘This is Colony Five and we have an emergency. With me is the man from the Mossad and I relay his instructions. They are to be complied with at once. Red Star One is to stop instantly and order everyone out of the vehicle, instructing them to run for cover. All other cars are to turn to the left towards the centre of the field, away from Red Star One. Execute immediately!’
Stunned, the crowds watched as in the distance the engines roared in unison. Five limousines swung out of position, racing into the outer darkness of the airport. The first car screeched to a stop; the doors opened and men leaped out, running in all directions.
Eight seconds later it happened. The limousine called Red Star One exploded forty feet from an open gate. Flaming metal and shattered glass spiralled up into the downpour as the band music halted in midbreath.

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Classics Illustrated – Tom Sawyer ~~Fence~~

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3 February 2018 · 12:42 pm

Excerpt from “Charlotte’s Row” by H.E. Bates ~~Wood~~

Even as she spoke she moved off down the path through the wood. He followed her. He said nothing. He saw that she took her joy painfully, intensely, passionately. He saw her look at the young trees, the late clusters of primroses, the patches of red misty campions and lastly at the flood of bluebells ebbing away to the hollow below. She looked very beautiful. Her body was slender and alert in the thin, flowered dress. She took off her hat and ran suddenly with little ecstatic cries to stoop over a bed of oxslips, golden and wide as noon. He noticed the blackness of her hair, the pure whiteness of her slender arms, the soft, tremulous swing of her little breasts under the loose bodice.
He let her stare and drink in the sight and scent of the flowers and the flood of sunlight.
And only when she was ready they walked on. She ran on ahead seeing flowers she did not know, greenish-white candles of blossom thrusting themselves up from the tangle of wild geranium.
She came back to him, holding a flower in her hand. She was breathless and he felt she must exhaust herself.
‘What is this?’ she said. ‘Tell me what it is.’
‘It’s a white orchis – you see, the flowers are like slippers.
She breathed the delicate, exotic flower rapturously.

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