Someone I used to know(a post about little stories)

I like story telling and using pictures for them. I am working on a various stories which I hope to put out now I have some more time on my hands and less stress. I make these scenes and stories using Second Life, which takes a lot of time to put together. A friend of mine says that it is probably faster to draw it myself and I guess he would be right, but somehow I like to do it the hard way.
I like to show you some of them and tell something about them in the way of story telling that hopefully inspires you or even entertains you.

2nekos-someone-i-used-to-kn

I ran into the song “Somebody I used to know” on you tube by Gotye featuring Kimbra. It inspired this picture of Dreary and Krisp. I wanted to capture the mood of the video and especially the puzzle feel of the painting. This painting is a crucial feature in the movie.
The song is a profound short story and is an nice example of how you can tell a story in under four minutes by using music, a few lines of text and imagery. The video is made by Natasha Pincus and it is in my opinion it  a great piece of art.
Here is the lowdown. You first see the lead singer Gotye singing about how their relation(between him and the person Kimbra represents) started off and then ended and that she suddenly broke off all contact after they split up despite she saying that they would remain friends. The movie starts quite intriguing by showing Gotye’s… foot.

Starting of with a foot
Starting of with a foot

He then sings his side of the story.

Gotye
Gotye

Gotye’s painting appears and he becomes part of the painting. The lines making up a puzzle like structure that engulfs him.

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There is a dramatic pause in which the camera backs off to show the two singers standing at opposites of the screen while the music switches kind of pauses to in giving you a kind of jazzy  music. Now the painting extends to include Kimbra who is at the other side of the picture. Notice also how they have totally different color schemes to denote their differences.

Screenshot - 1_2_2015 , 6_00_21 PM

Then Kimbra sing a few lines -just a few lines- that makes clear why she acts in the way he describes. She explains how being with him – even as friends – reminds her of all the bad things that they had together and his wrong doings.The crucial moment in the movie is at then end of the pause when Kimbra turns to Gotye and sings the first of her lines. She does something very distinctive. She loosens her shoulders, which communicates two things: it breaks the pattern and it is a movement people make to signify that they are ready for a fight. Then she moves towards him as if to confront him.

Screenshot - 1_2_2015 , 6_01_33 PM
Crucial moment. Kimbra breaks free from the constraints(put there by Gotye?) and is ready for a showdown. This is iconic imagery.
Kimbra confronts Gotye
Kimbra confronts Gotye

In the final scene, the painting is removed from Kimbra.. showing that she is free.

Final scene.
Final scene.

Nathasha Pincus is the director of the video.

 

Natasha Pincus
Natasha Pincus

If you wanted to find out the one person behind the video, you will probably never find him or her. The reason is that such a project is a combination of having the right people at the right place at the right time. It is like a jigsaw puzzle in which all the right pieces come together to create this video. In my opinion that crucial person is either Nathasha Pincus or Gotye himself(remember that the painting is made by his father).

 

My Picture of Dreary and Krisp was to capture the mood of this video and I want to show the distance by the gun and the connection by the hands, like that one from the painting:

The creation of Adam.
The creation of Adam.

 

 

 

liz-elf-corvus

This picture I used for another post previously and it actually shows Merit. I wanted to have beach scene and I happened to have a few zombie statues there so I just rearranged them. I wanted to have a beach scene with a sun in it.   There had to be something happening.. as a kind of story.

Flash Fiction: History

History

“I had not expected you to be here, sir.” I said and I wanted to leave him to his moment of solitude, a moment which he would have seldom time to enjoy.

He was standing near the balcony overlooking the boulevard that was in front the house.

He was his usually tall self, slender to the point of wiry and holding a cigarette. The one that was kept from the public eye, because smoking was bad now and it was something that could be used against him, even though the elections were still few years away.

“Don’t leave..please join me for a moment.” He said.

I walked over to him and we both stared out of the window, looking at people and cars on the street. Small figures in the distance. The sky was losing the redness of the dusk and the black of the night was taking over.

“There will be no stars tonight.” He remarked.

“No sir. It is going to rain.”

He nodded.

“I have not seen you before.”

“No sir. My name is Claire Redmond and it would have been unlikely that you would have seen me otherwise.”

“Oh? How so?”

“We are not encouraged to.” I said.

 “Meaning you are told to avoid me.”, he laughed.

“That would be one way to say it, mister President.”

He nodded.

“What is it that you do, Claire?”

“I am a historian, mister President.” I said, “You might also call me record keeper. I write down what happens here.”

“Ah, you make history.”

“I would say you make history and I write it down.”

“That might be one way of putting it.” He smiled.

“It is unavoidable, being who you are.”

He nodded.

“Ever wondered about that, mister president?”

“About me making history?” He squeezed his eyes, sucked on his cigarette and was silent for a moment.

“Whenever I see a movie about a president, like one about Kennedy or Nixon, I think about it. But when I am in the midst of it I often forget,  but sometimes I feel it:  this is a historic moment, but that is just a small moment among all the other moments. It somehow becomes normal.”

“And was this a historic moment? One where you have this melancholic moment where you stare out over the city to make a decision about bombing a country or not?”

“I was just enjoying a cigarette.” He smiled.

“Pity. It would have made a nice historic movie moment, mister president.”

“It would have.”

“Maybe I could alter history a little bit and make this a historic moment, for the benefit of us both?”

“You would willing write yourself into history?” He said.

“A historians privilege.”

“I would have to make a decision first, though.”

“True, but even not making one could be a historic moment.”

“Sounds like a done deal then.”

“If I was narcissistic enough.”

“And you are not?”

“No mister president. I am historian.. not a politician.” And I gave him my best smile to cushion the shock.

He laughed, even with his eyes.

Signs of Life: affluence

nightmare copy

“I used to get off the train here.”  She nodded her head towards the platform. She was sitting on one of the folding chairs that were fixed to the side of the train wagon. She had asked to sit down, because she said she was  wobbly in the morning. I could imagine she was as she was a very tall and slender girl walking on heels that made her even frailer. Her ankles seemed almost too thin to handle the stress her body put on them. .

“Oh.. not anymore? It did not go well?” Her companion said. She was a much smaller and more broader girl in build. She had long black hair that fell over her shoulders, glasses with a thick frame and a pink knitted cap. She was standing and holding to a pole to keep her steady against the movement of the train.

“I did finish the internship, but I was glad to leave.. it wasn’t a fun job.”

“Because of the patients?”

“More the work environment. I didn’t get any proper guidance. The school just told me to go there and I had to join in without any proper supervision or introduction. They were too busy because they were too short on people. “

“Must have been hard then.”

“It was, but mostly because they seldom told me what to expect. I think they couldn’t even because anything could happen at any time of the day. No day is the same in psychiatric healthcare…”

“I bet.”

“..Some could be nice at one moment and cruel the next. Depressive silent at one time and screaming their heads off at another. ”

“It is probably much easier where I work.. Elderly people are much easier to handle.”

“Yeah, unless they are demented. They can be as unpredictable as those inmates of the psychiatric hospital. Even to each other. There was once this fight we had to intervene. One wanted to escape all the time and one day she was screaming from a window. One of the others came and hit her. They started to fight. Slapping and scratching each other. A catfight.. “ She laughed.

“Sad though. Did nobody intervene?”

“We did, but it took some time before we knew what was going on because we just don’t have enough people to do all the work. Like we don’t even have time to help them shower or bathe every day.. Some even get angry at that. Calling us names. Hitting us.”

“Oh my.”

“Yeah, awful. I wish it was otherwise.”

“It is the same with us.. not enough people to get everything done. Like they fired a lot of the kitchen staff to save costs. Now people get basic meals..Very basic.” She seemed to shuddered at the thought.

“It is the same where I work now. I work with homeless people. There is just enough money for a basic meal. We focus on keeping the rooms clean, but they need new paint and a lot needs to be fixed or replaced. The television broke down the other week, so we invent games or other activities for them to do so they can socialize a bit.”

“You’ll have to do whatever you can do.”

The tall girl nodded.

“So any idea where you are going to work when you finished school?”

“I think I’ll try working with mentally disabled people. They can be selfish and nasty, but they are also very sweet at the time and funny. And I seem to get along with them well. And what about you?”

“I haven’t yet decided for myself. There is a need everywhere, but never enough money. ”

For some time they were silent. The movement of the train shaking us about.  Everyone retreated into their own shells, thinking their own thoughts or listening to their own music with their private headsets in the morning train that would transfer them from the reality of home to the reality of work or school.

“I wonder if there has been a time when it was different.” I wanted to remark.

Was there a time when there were enough people and there was enough money for everyone. I couldn’t recall such a time and I was twice their age.  It is strange considering we have now seven billion people on this planet and this is probably the most affluent period in the history of the world. Yet it seems that after the eighties everything went downhill?

Perhaps I should ask my mother?

She would need that help soon enough.

Silly laws 1: moose

Alaskan laws:

It is considered an offense to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.

It is considered an offense to feed alcoholic beverages to a moose.

Moose may not be viewed from an airplane

“Hey!”

Raine grabbed the side of her chair.  She made a sudden sideway motion, then felt herself  drop a dozen feet.  Her stomach followed a bit too late with the rest of her body. She felt nauseated.

There was a loud bleating from the back of the plane mixed with some shouts from the other passengers.

Raine worked her way toward the flightdeck, assisted by a sudden nosedive of the plane. She fell against the door, smashing her nose. Then the plane pulled up she almost fell backwards again, but she grabbed the door handle, thus opening the door. There was red on the handle.

“What the hell is wrong.” Raine shouted through the high pitch sound of an engine. There were lamps flashing on the panels.

“We lost one engine.”  Latimer, their pilot said with clenched teeth. He was fighting the yoke as if he I he was in a bullfight.

“We’re crashing?”

“Nah. The ride is just a bit more bumpy.” Latimer grunted. “It can fly one one engine.”

“Planning on an emergency landing?”

“We got nowhere to put her down here, “  he pointed towards the mountains, trees and water, “ And if we hit something at this speed, we will be torn to shreds. Need to lose some weight!”

“You mean as in throwing something of the plane?”

“Yeah.”

“Mervin!” Raine roared.

“Here!” Came from the back.

“One of the engines has had it. We need to lighten this thing.. Anything we can get rid off?”

“Let me, see.. We got the combat gear.”

“We need those and that is expensive stuff. Something else?”

“We got these crates of beer. Two of them” Mervin said. His voice suggested he was not thrilled at the idea of losing the beer.

“The crates?” Raine said to the pilot, “ Five of them, that would be around 60 pounds I guess.”

“We need lose more.”

“There is the moose.”  Mervin shouted, “It is big.”

“The moose?” Raine and Latimer eyed each other.

“Yeah… we could.. well. We could push it from the plane.”

“You’re mad. The poor thing.” Raine said, “ Can’t we crash the plane in the river?”

“I can’t say what will happen when I do.” Latimer said.”But I figure if we drop the moose into a river it will be ok. The water will break it’s fall. There is the Nowita River coming up.” He pointed forward.

Raine cursed.”We get rid of the moose then. Say when.”

She struggled through the plane to the cargo hold. She and Mervin then buckled up their safety cords and opened the back of the plane.  They saw fir trees rushing past underneath them. The moose moaned loudly.

They removed the gate of the cage holding the moose and started to pull the animal backward towards the exit. The moose had enlarged eyes that shifted rapidly. It  braced itself and it refused to budge.

“Dammit. Can you pull up so it drops out?” Raine shouted. Underneath her she could see the river appear.

“I could give it a slight boost. But the engine will overheat!”

The plane suddenly pulled up, but the moose had locked itself tight in the cage.

“We need make it let go.”  Raine said.

“Maybe we can drop it with the cage.” Mervin mused

“It would drown.”

“Hmm..” Mervin said and looked at the crates. “We could start with losing the crates. Pitty, II could use a beer. Sometimes gives you good ideas.”

“That is it.”  Raine said, “Grab some bottles.”

Mervin got her some beer.

Raine removed the cap of one beer by using the other one and then pushed it into the mouth of the moose. The frightened animal first refused to drink, but then it started to drink.

Mervin grinned..

“Get more.” Raine said.

It took both crates before the animal let go. It waddled towards the open bay door. Then the  pilot shouted a warnin. The planes engine suddenly roared loudly and the plane pulled up. Mervin grabbed something, but Raine dropped together with the moose from the plane. Her safety line  arrested her fall. Dangling underneath the plane she saw the truss bridge  that had forced the pilot pull up the plane, a small village  and the moose arcing towards the bridge. It missed the bridge and plunged into the river. The shockwave caused a group of canoes to topple over and spill the paddlers and the contents into the river. Despite her precarious position Raine could not help but laugh at the ludicrous sight.

After Mervin had pulled her in, the plane labored it’s way towards the nearest airport.

There they were arrested.

“What for?? Nobody was harmed.” Raine excalimed.

“Yeah.. we had to do it.” Latimer said, “Otherwise we would have crashed.”

“That moose of yours. You know what it did?”

They shook their heads.

“It swam ashore, then lumbered into the village, wrecking property, broke into the local store, ravaged the interior before falling asleep. There are reasons we have laws against feeding mooses alcohol!” The policeman growled.

Signs of life 2

Despite the drizzle the red male cat had been outside in our garden the whole morning. He had been  making those weird howls males make when they are in heat. Somehow he had found out that we had a female cat even though she had only been with us for a few months and only outside for one.. Her name was Saar and she was a beautiful Maine Coon, with long grey and black hair, intense yellow eyes and a  bussy plume for a tail.

She was the third cat in out house for we had two castrated male cats as well. A small red one called Sam and a black grey one called Moos. The names were taken from two fictive characters invented by the Dutch humorist Max Tailleur, who had them talk to each other as part of his jokes.

Sam was the smallest of our two cats. He was a nervous, somewhat unpredictable cat who had a fear of men. Probably he had once had some kind of traumatic experience with a man and it took him a long time to get used to any man, like our neighbor who took care of our cats when we were on holiday. On the other side Sam was most social of the two and was the one who sometimes played with Saar.

Moos was almost the opposite of Sam. He seemed to be unaffected by anything going on around him. In fact, although he was aware of things around him, it looked like he did just did not seem to register them.  You couldn’t call him relaxed, so perhaps he was an autistic cat. He was a buddy of Sam, but he completely ignored Saar.

The drizzle had stopped at noon, but the red male had kept on howling. Saar had taken position on a blue plastic table at the other end of the garden. It felt like she was cautiously curious. Not quite sure about his intentions but curious about his behavior. The male saw Saar on that table and started to sneak towards her.

My eldest daughter, unaware of what was going outside opened the garden door to let Sam out. He had been sitting before the door casting looks at us that meant to say that he wanted to have that door opened.  Sam saw the red male crouching in the grass. Something clicked in his head and he charged. The red male was oblivious of the oncoming Sam, until he was on top of him.  He gave a surprised meow and fled.  Sam chased him, but my eldest called out to him and he stopped.

We  fantasized about the reason for the charge and came up with all kinds of explanations, but we all agreed that the one our eldest gave was the most fitting.

“Perhaps he was just fed up with the incessant howling.” she said.

Signs of life 1

With a long penetrating shriek the double decker train came to an abrupt halt inside the station.  The double doors unlocked with an audible low bang, hesitated for a moment, but then proceeded with opening very slowly.

A boy, in his late teens, ran up the stairs that led from the lower part of the train to the exit. He was fumbling with his backpack and focused on getting outside, so he did not notice the teenage boy sitting near the exit..

“Hey.” the sitting teen boy greeted.

“Hey.” the boy with the backpack said and he jumped onto the platform.

“Nice party last night.” the other said with a forced smile, “ A shame about the jacket though.”

“Yeah. Nice party.” the other boy said. He seemed calmer now, probably because he did not need to hurry now that he had gained the platform..

“I drank too much.. So.., well you know…” the sitting boy made a vague gesture with his hand, “I shouldn’t drink so much.”

“Yeah.“

“Nice party though. I will certainly be there next time.”

“And maybe drink less.” The boy on the platform said with a thin smile.

“Yeah.” The boy inside the train leaned backwards. His face was a bit white and his eyes reddish.

The doors of the train closed abruptly and the train waddled out of the station, picking up speed gradually.

The boy swallowed and his face became a shade whiter.

The bridge

Major Anders was writing a letter to his wife when his intimate thoughts were interrupted. Men barked agitated orders,  vehicles backed up and fumes started to spoil the air.

The cobbled narrow street below the window was cluttering with vehicles and men..

Anders got his jeep and drove up to his most forward unit to find out what was the matter.

To the side of the road he spotted a group of men in the shade of a wall. They were grouped around former sergeant Jules who was now a first lieutenant, being field promoted two ranks for showing uncommon valor.

“It is a bridge.” Jules said when Anders approached, “It is undamaged.”

Anders looked around the corner of the wall to see a stone bridge over a stream that was too small to be important but wide enough to be an obstacle. A thin fog lingered at other side of the stream, were houses showed empty windows.

The men looked at each other.

“Perhaps the Germans forgot about it.” said one of the men,

“Maybe they blow it when we cross  it.” said another.

“We could send someone over to tell them it is no use fighting for a lost cause.” said a third.

They fell into an uncomfortable silence.

“Oh well.. someone has to go.” Jules shrugged..

“Sergeant.” Anders said, not realizing his mistake, “I will go. This is an order.”

“No sir. This is my task.” Jules said and his grey eyes defied the brown one’s of Anders.

“Then we will go together.” Anders said.

The two men walked towards the bridge and then started to cross it.

From the other side two figures walked towards them. One was wearing a grey uniform and the other a green one.

When the four met halfway they all saluted in their way.

The man in the green uniform then said something Anders did not understand.

And  then man in the grey uniform  said.”I  bin Kapitain Lobke, I will translate. Der Major Rustov want dich to know that he is happy to meet dich.”

They all laughed loudly and shook hands fervently.

“Shall I blow it now?” The gefreiter said.

The feldwebel lowered his binoculars and shook his head.

“Nein Son, go home. The war is over.“ And he had tears in his eyes but a smile on his lips.

Flash Fiction: Family Tradition

When they walked back from their parents grave, Jane confronted her older brother James about the yearly family dinner.
“Now mother has passed away, can we stop eating boiled liver?”
“You want to dishonor the memories of our parents?”  James replied.
“Mother ate it because father ate it..”
“Mother always respected father.”
“But father ate it because mother cooked it. “
“Father was always respectful to mother.”
“But it tastes horrible!” Jane choked..
“I know.”
One day I’ll be the head of the family, Jane thought bitterly.
When they reached the exit, Johnny, James eldest son, ran up to them
“Dad! Guess what’s for dinner! Grandma would be so proud of us!