Thursday, July 12, 2018

Word: Eggbeater


eggbeater

[eg-bee-ter]
noun
  1. a small rotary beater for beating eggs, whipping cream, etc.
  2. Slang. a helicopter.


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       Alex tore through the living room, looking for his fiancé, Liz.  He found her sitting on the couch, reading something on her phone.  Hearing him running around made her look up slowly, blink a few times then turn back to the book.  She idly noticed he was carrying a plastic bag, but thought nothing of it.
               “Honey, look at this!” He said quickly.  He reached into the bag and pulled out a novelty egg beater.  He proudly held the kitchen tool up for her to see.
               “So, what about it?’
               “So?  So?  Look at it.  Just look at it.”
               He moved in closer so she could get a closer look at the thing.  It was shaped vaguely like a helicopter, with the hand crank acting as the tail rotor, and the main blades running into the main body, with the handle being the rest of the copter.
               “Okay, it’s a helicopter shaped egg beater.  So what?”
               “Really?  You don’t get it?” Alex asked with slumped shoulders.
               Liz shrugged.  She both marveled and wondered at his ability to find entertainment in such a thing as a novelty kitchen tool that they would probably never use.
               “It’s an egg beater!” He said excitedly, as it that said anything.  Liz looked at him blankly, hoping for an explanation that never came.
               “Yeah, I can tell.  So what?”
               “It’s an egg beater shaped like an egg beater.”
               Liz blinked in confusion.  “Uh, Alex, that would just be a normal egg beater.”
               “Oh come on, you seriously don’t get it?”
               “What’s there to get?”
               “An egg beater is also another name for a helicopter.”
               Liz looked at him, now even more confused.  “What?  That can’t be right.  I mean, why would anyone call a helicopter an egg beater?  It doesn’t make any sense.”
               “It’s true.  Look it up if you don’t believe me.”
               Liz closed her book and began her search.  It did not take long for her to find that Alex was, inexplicably, correct. 
               “Huh.” She said simply. 
               “You get it now, right?  Why this is so amazing.”  Alex said, holding out the beater.
               “I guess it makes a bit more sense.  Kind of.  I mean, as much as this ever can when the underlying premise is so ridiculous.”
               “Oh, it’s hilarious, and you know it.”
               “Not really.  I guess it’s slightly entertaining, but not hilarious.  Still, I guess it’s a good conversation starter.”
               “Good enough.  I’m going to go put this on the counter.”
               Alex ran off to do just that.  He did not give Liz enough time to say anything to keep him from putting it somewhere prominent.  She lay back and grumbled at his choice of décor.  She would have to go in later and put it somewhere a bit more discrete. 
               She lay back on the couch and started to read more.  Her mind started to wander back to the egg beater though.  And the more she thought about it, the more she came to a single conclusion.
               “Huh.  I guess it is kind of funny.”
               *********************************
Now I'm wondering if something like this actually exists.  I didn't see any, but I also didn't look very hard.  And if it doesn't exist, someone should make one.  I don't think I would buy it, but someone would.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Word: Fizgig




fizgig

[fiz-gig]
noun
  1. a type of firework that makes a loud hissing sound.
  2. a whirling toy that makes a whizzing noise.
  3. fishgig.

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Elias made his way through the forest.  His arms trembled as he clutched his rifle so tightly that his knuckles lost their color.  He had no idea where he was, only that he was no where he had been only half an hour before.  The odd bright light had deposited him somewhere where the trees were unfamiliar, and were far thinner than those of the forest he had previously been in.  And what was worse was that it was getting dark, and he was alone.  His fellow soldiers were nowhere to be seen.  That meant he was vulnerable.  To die alone was the worst way to die.
               As the light of day turned to the red of sunset, then the black of night, he heard it.  A loud bang.  Gunshots.  He fell to the ground as more and more bangs rang out.  They sounded close.  Bangs, then an odd popping and crackling sound.  He took a deep breath and did what no sane man should ever do.  He went towards the firefight. 
               Every instinct, every fiber of his being told him to flee.  To live the coward’s life.  At least that way he would have a life.  It was better than feeding the crows, especially since there were none around to see him.  But no, the soldier in him forced him to move on.  To crawl through the dirt and grass towards the rapidly increasing gunshots.  Something about the sounds made him wonder though.
               They did not sound like any canon or rifle he had ever heard before.  The shots rang out loud and clear, and many of them were followed by smaller bangs or odd hissing sounds.  Could the enemy have created a new weapon?  That was unlikely though, so far from their isle.  And the scouts would have told someone long before such a weapon could be brought to bare.  Plus, the fact that they were fighting at night was odd in and of itself.  No torch or lantern would allow them to see much of anything, making aiming impossible.
               Elias moved until he came out of the trees, poking his head out from a bush.  What he saw was unlike anything he had ever seen before.  A large crowd of people, all gathered together, facing a lake, which was the source of the gunfire.  Only, the people were not being fired upon.  No, it was the sky itself that was the target.  He could see streaks of light and smoke shooting into the air, only to burst in an explosion of color and sound.  Streaks of red, blue, gold, silver and green spread out in bursts, rings, and cascades.  Sometimes these streaks formed smaller bursts that popped or hissed.
               Elias was enraptured and stood to join the crowd, the war all but forgotten in the sight of such grandeur.  His eyes struggled to take in the display of light and sound as it increased in intensity.  More and more of the colorful explosions filled the air.  People let out sounds of appreciation.  A few small children cried at the loud bangs while mothers comforted them.  Elias only heard these sounds, without really listening to them.
               Then, with a nearly constant barrage that lit up the night, it ended.  An almost eerie silence filled the area before the crowd sounded their approval with a rousing applause.  The spell was broken, and the crowd began to move about.  It was then that Elias really took notice of what was around him.  There were lights posted around, not like those that had filled the air, but more stable ones that had been built into some kind of lantern atop a pole.  They were far too bright to be candles, but they made it much easier to see than one would think. 
               The people all wore odd clothes of a style that Elias was unfamiliar with.  They were light weight, and were obviously designed for hot weather.  Even the women wore such things, much to his confusion. 
               “Hey, I think you’re a bit late.” The voice of a teenage boy said.  Elias turned to look at the speaker.  The teen wore a grey shirt with some kind of monster emblazoned on the front, and pants made of some sturdy blue material.  But by his accent, he was a fellow American, which gave Elias comfort.
               “Late?  What, pray tell, am I late for?”
               “Seriously?  Man, I guess it’s cool that you’re so into it, but the reenactment was, like, hours ago.  You seriously need to drop it.”
               “Reenactment?  What would I be reenacting?”
               The boy looked at him with a mix of confusion and teenage willfulness, as if Elias was the most idiotic man in the world.
               “Uh, the Battle of Lexington?  You know, the one they do every year?”
               “I…what?” Elias asked, getting more confused by the second.
               He was no historian, but he still had a decent grasp of famous battles, and he had never heard of this Battle of Lexington.  Sure, he had been fighting in Lexington, but that was still ongoing.  How could anyone celebrate something that was still in progress?
               “Okay, whatever.  You wanna be weird, go ahead.  Not like it’s my problem.” The youth said before walking off.
               He pulled a small, rectangular object out of his pocket and a cool glow issued forth from it.  Elias looked around and saw many others lighting up the night with similar objects.  In fact, only the very young or the elderly were not engaged in such things.  The elders sat or shuffled around the field, while the children either ran around and played with toys that lit up and made whirring sounds, or else clung to their parents. 
               Not sure of what else to do, Elias looked around and saw a small building made of well cut wood.  People were lined up in front of it, and more of the flameless lights made it bright and inviting.  As he made his way towards the building, others told him many of the same things the boy had.  That he was too late, that the reenactment had ended. Others commended him for his dedication and patriotism, while others called him a fool, or some other slur that he was not familiar with.
               Then something gave him pause.  A paper haphazardly discarded on the ground.  It was a large thing, with finely printed lettering.  The title seemed to be some kind of news bulletin, but of what publication, he had no idea.  But what he was sure of was the date:  July 4, 2018. 
               Elias felt his blood run cold.  2018.  That had to be a joke.  It was 1775, the middle of April.  This had to be some kind of joke.  A poor jest that his fellow soldiers were playing on him.  But how?  Why?  He knew of no one that would even conceive of something like this, let alone be able to actually execute it. 
               No, whatever that light was truly had deposited him far in the future.  How or why, he had no way of knowing.  But, at the very least, there was one thing that was obvious.  Somehow, America had won the war.  Somehow, though some miracle, America had earned its freedom.  At that was a fine thing to know.  
****************************
Happy 4th of July to all the American readers out there!  And to everyone else, well, have a wonderful day! 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Word: Transmundane




transmundane

[trans-muhn-deyn, tranz-; trans-muhn-deyn, tranz-]
adjective
  1. reaching beyond or existing outside the physical or visible world.

****************************
Issar sat in an uncomfortable cross-legged manner.  His legs were threatening to cramp up, and his back was too stiff.  The hard stone floor did not help much either.  But, he had to be there.  It was for one of his finals, after all.  It was just a shame it was for his least favorite class: Astral Projection.
               He had never been able to get the skill right and had yet to actually release his astral form in any class so far.  But, this was the final, and his grade depended on it.  If he could successfully astral project here, then he could at least walk out with a non-failing grade for the class.  If he did not perform, well, he would have another year to get it right. 
               And so far, it was not looking good.  His astral senses were as attuned as any other students, so he could feel the others taking the final all succeeding.  He could feel their astral forms shifting around him, and he was absolutely sure they were all making fun of him.  And why shouldn’t they?  Astral projection was a basic skill that any student of the Arts should be able to do with only minimal training.
               But, Issar was in the vast minority that was seemingly unable to do so.  He still tried though.  He forced his mind to quiet itself, with little success.  Then he called on his inner self and tried to once again force it out of his body.  He used every trick he could think of.  Using more power, opening the Gates wider, and even trying to “bribe” himself with the promise of a sweet snack later.  Nothing worked.  No matter how hard he tried, no matter how hard he forced it to work, he simply could not release his astral self from the confines of his body. 
               He was about to give up when a stray thought entered his mind.  Maybe he was not trying hard enough.  Maybe he was trying too hard.  He thought back to what the teachers had said about the skill.  Astral projection was a Soft Art and needed to be treated differently than the Hard Arts that Issar favored.  Hard Arts needed to be beaten into submission before they would work.  They had to be used with strength and force to make them do anything.  Issar was good at that.  He knew exactly what he needed to do to get his Hard Arts to work.  It made him one of the best combat students in the school. 
               But Soft Arts needed to be coaxed out in different ways.  They needed to be let free to do as they wished.  They needed to be left alone to get started, and then gently guided into the shape the user wished.  That was much harder to Issar than it was to others.  It seemed almost counterintuitive.  How could you get something to do anything without telling it what to do?
               Nevertheless, with a quick breath, he gave it a try.  He simply stopped trying to get his astral self to come out.  His breathing slowed, and his mind went blank as he stopped forcing the thoughts away.  Then he felt it.  A cool chill running along his spine, like someone running a cold finger up his back.  Instead of following his gut to resist the sensation though, he simply let it happen.  Then he felt nothing at all.
               When Issar opened his eyes, the first thing he saw was himself, sitting cross-legged on the hard stone floor with his eyes closed.  He looked around and smiled.  He could see the previously unseen astral forms of his classmates.  He could see the Astral Flow, gently moving through the air.  He could see Spirits dancing among the students, most of whom danced along with them.  All the things that existed just outside the material realm were now visible to him.  He smiled.  He had done it.  He had finally learned how to astral project. 
               And more importantly, he would not have to take the class again. 
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 Honestly, I'm not sure if I would do very well in a class like this, even if it existed.  I could never sit in that position for very long, and I definitely wouldn't be able to stop thinking about it.  I have no idea how people can sit that way for long periods of time.  It just seems unpleasant to me.