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[personal profile] froodle
The honeysuckle in Deadwood Park was in full bloom, the sweet, heady scent of the blossoms hanging in the warm evening air. Fat black and yellow bees danced a slow buzzing waltz around the white flowers, their flight paths spelling out sigils of arcane power dedicated to the Hive. White-shrouded beekeepers stood by with notebooks open, pens gripped clumsily in heavy gloves, awaiting their orders.

From his protective shelter deep inside a clump of ornamental grass, Marshall Teller also watched and took notes. His gaze skimmed across what he’d already written and he rolled his eyes.

“Chimpbee: the Animated Series.”

Read the rest of the Trusted Associates verse here )
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[personal profile] froodle
The dried-up well on Front Street was full of soil, and tiny spring flowers had already begun to sprout from the rich dark earth. Three old men in padded jackets and floppy Gilligan-style hats decorated with bright coloured lures sat in folding chairs around it, fishing rods out. The glittering steel of heavy-duty fishing line caught the sun, humming with tension as something unseen pulled at baited hooks buried deep down in the well shaft.

Crouched behind a nearby bus shelter, Marshall held his breath as one of the old men rummaged in a mud-streaked tackle box set at his feet.

“This is it, Simon,” he hissed to his most trusted companion. “Today’s the day we find out for sure what those old guys are up to.”

“I’m pretty sure they’re just fishing for mud snakes,” said Simon. “You’d never get a mud shark or a chthonic deity up through the mouth of the well in one piece.”

Marshall gave him a look. Simon shrugged.

“It’s not that big of a deal, Mars,” he said. “Lake cryptids go mad for mud snakes, and the mark-up at the Eerie Baitshop and Sushi Bar is insane.”

“Oh,” said Marshall.

“Sorry,” said Simon.

Read the rest of the Trusted Associates verse here )
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[personal profile] froodle
Fine white paper dust hung in the air and settled in sharp-edged drifts in the corners of the room. All four walls were lined with grey metal filing cabinets and they hummed and juddered against each other, the shuffle and thump of their shifting contents drowned out by loud computer-generated sobbing.

“Yep,” said Marshall, shutting the door behind him and muffling the noise. “That played out almost exactly the way I thought it would.”

“What are you going to tell your dad?” asked Simon.

“The truth,” said Marshall. “That Things Incorporated’s new all-encompassing office administration software developed sentience and a profound sense of existential despair over the number of people who don’t line the hole-punch holes up properly when doing their filing.”

“Will he believe that?”

Marshall laughed, sounding only a little bitter.

“No,” he said. “He’ll call it a short, which is what he always calls it when he inadvertently creates artificial intelligence without also giving it emotional resilience.”

Simon looked at the closed door, through which miserable mechanical howling could still be heard.

“What did it just say?” he asked.

Marshall listened for a moment.

“‘For Gods’ sake, who doesn’t understand alphabetical order, it’s not hard,’” he said.

Read the rest of the Trusted Associates verse here )

Read the rest of the Teller Family History here )

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Eerie Indiana

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