Paper Mushrooms

Paper Mushrooms

A Story by Type0
"

A very brief Short (Circuit) Story. This is an idea that I plan to recycle a few times. I think it's rather interesting. (Both the plot elements, and the flash nature of the writing.)

"

00h43; CCn; old.grid,loc:EYE

 

// 09,63,72

 

// The picture is mostly dark - a lifeless earthen plain before a small railfence (once decorative, recently deterrent, currently useless as the power adapter has shorted), movement behind suggests the leaden movement of the Slick. A tall red cylinder stands just before the rail, a black rectangular hole near its top. Next to it, a board stands, crudely propped up against the old base of a statue, held in place with a string of postage stamps. On the board, something is written in a staccato script, in bright white paint. At this magnification the words cannot be made out. In the centre of the board, there is a dispensing roll. It appears to contain postage stamps.

 

// Movement to the left of the screen - the view moves to centre its source. The picture zooms in on the figure, a man moving towards the postbox with a white triangle in his hands. His tattered shirt is red, his jeans are blue, his hair is buzzed short.

 

Despite living on his own, on the wrong side of the river, Jonny Nasty has big hopes of being a punk. He reads stories of Sid's gang's exploits in the papers, and hopes to join them one day. He wants to make a name for himself first.

 

The envelope Jonny holds in his hand contains nothing more than a blank piece of paper, and half a gram of cornflour. It is addressed to Buck.Pal. It lacks a stamp.

 

// The man is closer to the postbox now, and the ancient curfew program tags him with ~miscreant'. The writing on the board can be made out now, ANARCHY RULES, OK? PLEASE TAKE A STAMP, although the OCR subprogram fails to recognise and tags it with ~sexual.propaganda'.

 

Jonny looks at the new stamp board, realises that it is the old stamp board with the payment module ripped off, grins as he sees Sid's hand in this.

 

// ~miscreant' takes another look at ~sexual.propaganda' and then tears a stamp off of the reel. ~miscreant' licks it and sticks the stamp to the letter.

 

Jonny reaches up to put the letter in the postbox. The slot opens wide, and takes a large bite out of his arm. Jonny stares in horror and surprise at the bloody stump that has become of his arm. The postbox has taken the best part of his arm with the letter. It lets out a small burp.

 

// ~miscreant' waves his arm around, his mouth open in a scream. He does not appear to be able to let go of the letter. He clutches at his arm in terror. He stumbles backwards, trips over the railfence and lands with a splash in the Slick.

 

// ~miscreant' is seen to float downstream towards the dark bridge. The white shape of the letter floats for a moment, and then sinks into the darkness.

 

Jonny imagines that he is being carried downstream by an army of very small ants who have luckily built a very small platoon.

© 2008 Type0


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To begin with, I think Paper Mushrooms is one of the most awesome titles I have ever read. Something about those two words combined kind of speaks to me and I don't really know how to describe it. The story is also great as well. As I was reading it, it kind of made me feel like I was reading the lovechild of my two favorite Williams: William Gibson and William Burroughs. I have to agree with Idyllwyld, though, in that I feel the story could really be spiced up with a smattering of street slang. It's a very gritty reality you're building here and I imagine the people living in it would be angry, depressed, forlorn, a veritable cocktail of emotions that would be reflected in every aspect of their lives. Would definitely love to read more of this if you decide to take it in that direction.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

lol, the idea struck me here, and the context of the meaning,
unexpected circumstances, leads the reader in many directions, and its obviously
well written and expressed, thats what inpressed me most, word choice.
over all, I found it entertaining and a pleasure to read.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

To begin with, I think Paper Mushrooms is one of the most awesome titles I have ever read. Something about those two words combined kind of speaks to me and I don't really know how to describe it. The story is also great as well. As I was reading it, it kind of made me feel like I was reading the lovechild of my two favorite Williams: William Gibson and William Burroughs. I have to agree with Idyllwyld, though, in that I feel the story could really be spiced up with a smattering of street slang. It's a very gritty reality you're building here and I imagine the people living in it would be angry, depressed, forlorn, a veritable cocktail of emotions that would be reflected in every aspect of their lives. Would definitely love to read more of this if you decide to take it in that direction.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The twin perspectives between Johnny and the cold, artificial intelligence of the street camera make for an interesting duality and method of story-telling. I think though, that the title of "Paper Mushrooms" and just additional contrast for Johnny's viewpoint could be better enhanced by making his parts more radically wild, just like the very last scene.

The camera's vantage point is already made more distant by seeing things through its limited views, "miscreant" and "sexual.propaganda," its limited comprehension of human text, etc. I like it. The more Johnny's actions appear odd and unreasonable to the camera, the more logical and more in-depth the camera's perspective will be, making it more distinct.

Johnny's parts should be more fluid, more full of slang and street-references. Nothing necessarily like A Clockwork Orange, no, but the more crazy imagery he perceives, as if he just took 'shrooms for instance, the greater a unique experience he presents.

By having these two perspectives, they both complement and supplement the other, filling in gaps the other leaves because of their own respective limited perspectives; the camera's cold logic, and Johnny's distorted mind.

All in all, very enjoyable, I would definitely like to see this style in other words, or continuations of this tale. Gotta love your style of cyberpunk.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on September 10, 2008
Last Updated on September 10, 2008

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Type0
Type0

Southampton, United Kingdom



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// welcome to my world ; I'm an erratic writer; when I manage to get stuff written it's often a tiny part of a bigger expanse in my mind. I've got two expansive worlds in my mind -- a near-future cyb.. more..

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