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Short stories around golf !

PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 10:05 am
by Clare
Came across these interesting very short stories you might like !
I think they prove you can write about ANYTHING and make it interesting ?!

How I first Became Eudaman, By Eudaman

There I was at rock bottom, 104 degrees in my Dallas red light motel. Awakened by the wail of sirens, hookers, and the night, I look around at my sullen landscape. An empty bottle of Jack Daniels, dozens of discarded ciggy butts overflowing from an undersized ashtray, a cracked picture frame on the wall with a faded picture of Roger Staubach.

I arise from the bed, still damp from the incredible humidity and lack of AC, and head to the bathroom. With bloodshot eyes and the breath of 1,000 camels I stare at the mirror, surveying the damage from the previous evenings bout with addiction. After many bodily noises I head for the shower...then it happened.

As I step into the shower I realize that this is no ordinary shower. No, this is a Rod Serlingish Shower indeed. Suddenly surrounded by a bright purple glow the shower begins shaking and then just as quickly darts off through the walls and into the clouds. I am flying through the heavens, naked in my own personal Space Shower machine. I'm loving it though as the water is real hot and this never worked too well before. There's nothing quite like getting a full lather at 50,000 feet to cure a hangover.

Then out of nowhere, my flying shower machine comes to a crashing halt. After picking myself up from the impact I get up and survey my surroundings. Seems like a regular shower again, but not mine. I look out the shower door. Not my bathroom. Way too nice. This is weird.

Then from the other end of this huge, marble covered luxury bathroom I hear this:

"Euda darling, can you please bring some more bubble bath to me. I'll make it worth your while..."

Wow now this is getting interesting. I grab the bubble bath, but first steal a swig of the Scope sitting on the counter, and head to the sound of vixen...

There she is, the most incredible looking little babushka these eyes had ever seen, naked in the bath. I of course join her. "Honey, this rough guy look you've got going is really turning me on!", says the little honey vixen. "You know euda, I am really looking forward to that golfing vacation with the Sappersteins." "Are you ready to teach me how to play?" coos the little vixen..."yes but first I'm going to teach you something else", grunts Euda (Mad lovemaking scene goes down) Ohhh, euda, you have never been this good before! oooooo oooo oooo, yes yes yes, ooo ahhhh ooo", cries the supervixen.

I get out of the bath and grab a robe, which surprisingly has the word "euda" stitched on and head downstairs to this strange mansion with pictures of me playing golf everywhere.

That was how it all began. The lies, the life, the fun, and the golf. Should I go on? Or keep my day job?

If Putters could talk.... , By Eudaman

If a peek into the sordid life of my neglected putters interests you then you need serious counseling....but, please read on anyway!! :-)

If Putters Could Talk
We must be in hell. The silence is deafening, only to be broken like clockwork twice a day by some mysterious metallic gear sound. This is a dark, damp, hard place. You know, the kind of place where you need to watch your back. There is little hope here. Sure we've heard stories of one of us getting out, breaking free, joining the outside world once again. But these are just stories.

Our home is here in this ** infested haven known as eudaman's garage.

We are eudaman's discarded putters. Our population is at 12 after my long time pal, Ray Cook, was run over last week. His bloodied shaft left untended on the floor for days.

My name is Tad Moore and I used to be the number one putter. I used to travel. I stayed in the finest hotels. Life was good. I am the same putter that drained a treacherous, winding 12-foot birdie at Pebble Beach #9. I am the putter that brought home the cabbage versus JK time and time again.

But because I missed a few four footers, all my past glories were forgotten. I should have ran when after the round we stopped at Roger Dunn's golf shop. If only I had more than just one heel and toe. I should have seen it coming. I felt the life drain from my shaft when I saw eudaman carrying out a brand new Scotty Cameron Coronado 2 oilcan putter. All that practice, all those memories.

Thought I'd be in the bag forever. I shoulda listened to Hogan, the 7 iron, he told me long ago to watch my flange.

So now we sit here, like dogs in an animal shelter, begging for another chance.

The End

Copyright Eudaman2000,
All rights reserved. All characters are fictitious in this story and no reference is intended to any person living or otherwise.

P.S. Eudaman says:'I crave feedback so let me have it good or bad!'
e-mail = <>

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2004 1:09 pm
by GrimDad
Well Clare I thought it was impossible to make golf interesting, but you prove me wrong again !!

These are two very good short stories !!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 4:04 pm
by Adam
To me there is nothing in this world more boring than golf. But I must admit that these two short stories are very good and almost make it interesting. :roll:

PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:53 pm
by GrimDad
Below is an interesting longer short story, science fiction around Albert Einstein's theory of relativity (which I recently read a bit about on a new science site [url][/url]) ;

Einstein Was A Spy by Michael P Calligaro

Frank caught himself just before he nodded off. He blinked rapidly and shook his head in a futile attempt to clear it. Glancing at his watch, he sighed. The fool up there had already gone ten minutes over and wasn't showing any signs of wrapping up. No, not "fool," he corrected himself. His learned colleague, who hadn't done anything with his life but run experiments to verify smarter physicists' theories, seemed intent on taking all afternoon to discuss his "clever" insights on the universe.
As painful as Rob's presentation was going to be, at least it would be more interesting than this one. Frank glanced over at his friend and once star pupil. The young physicist kept clenching and unclenching his hands, and occasionally he took a deep breath. Frank tapped on his shoulder and he jumped. He looked over with scared eyes and Frank gave him a reassuring smile. Nodding quickly, Rob refocused on the current presenter, his heel tapping of its own accord.
Even though the trouncing Rob was about to receive was absolutely essential, Frank would certainly not enjoy it. Why couldn't someone else have taken this enthusiastic, bright young kid under his wing? Then that other person could have been the one to sit back and watch his virtual child's hopes and dreams crushed by a cruel and unforgiving panel of University scientists. The answer, of course, was simple. There wasn't anyone else.
He glanced around the room at the University of Michigan's finest as well as a few scientists flown in from MIT and Stanford to make for a proper multicollegiate panel. Unsurprisingly, each looked bored out of his skull. But more importantly, Frank knew none had that spark of brilliance necessary to truly understand a great new theory. Yes, they'd do their job perfectly.
Movement by the door caught Frank's eye. Who were the two linebackers moving to flank the exit? They stopped and stood at stiff attention, like ROTC trainees or even statues, their faces devoid of emotion. He tried to follow their gaze, and it didn't appear they were looking at the current presenter. In fact, it almost seemed like they were looking at Frank. No, their eyes fell just to his right. Frank glanced back at Rob. What did those two want with him?
Others in the lecture hall started showing signs of life, and Frank realized he no longer heard the droning of the presenter. He turned forward and caught Rob nervously walking to the podium. Rob glanced at him and he nodded.
Rob reached the podium and, with a deep breath, addressed the panel. "Good afternoon."
The piranhas attacked immediately. Whitmore from MIT spoke up. "Young man, I don't know what passes for science at the U of M, but this is the most disgraceful paper I have ever seen!" Frank had tried to prepare Rob for the reception his ideas would get, but he could see he hadn't done a sufficient job. Rob reeled as if hit by an uppercut.
"I'm sorry, sir. But while I realize this is controversial--"
"Controversial? This is a downright travesty! You're saying it's possible to travel faster than the speed of light!"
Frank clenched his teeth. They didn't have to be insulting about it. Rob's voice shook. "Yes, that is what I'm--"
"But what about Einstein? What does he have to say for your theories?"
Rob's face was turning red. He frowned and shook his head. His voice cracking, he blurted, "Well, maybe Einstein was a spy."
That shut them up. The room sat in silence for a moment; then Dean Johnston cleared his throat. "I'm sorry, Mr. Lawheed. Did I hear you correctly in asserting that Albert Einstein was some sort of spy? For whom?"
Rob closed his eyes and leaned forward on the podium, exhaling slowly. "I'm sorry for my outburst, my learned colleagues. It's just that his theories have effectively kept us bottled up in our little corner of the universe for a hundred years. Anything that limiting deserves to be revisited from time to time."
Whitmore started up again. "Revisited? Show me a theory from the twentieth century more heavily tested than relativity."
Rob relaxed slightly. He had argued this point with Frank many times before. "Sure, put an atomic clock on an airplane--"
"Or just note that particles in an accelerator don't go faster than point nine nine nine c no matter how much energy we pump into them."
"Yes, yes. I'm not disputing the experiments so far."
"Then what, pray tell, are you doing?"
Through clenched teeth, he snapped, "I'd love to tell you, if you'd just stop interrupting me." The Dean glanced at Whitmore, who stayed silent for a moment. Rob continued. "I'm suggesting that the experiments to date have been flawed." Whitmore threw up his hands and shook his head.
Dean Johnston spoke quietly. "Go on, Mr. Lawheed. Flawed in what way?"
"Well, if Einstein was a spy, he was a double agent. You see, he left a clue." Whitmore looked ready to stick his fingers in his ears. Frank had dealt with that bozo before and had always come away frustrated. He didn't relish the thought of going head to head with him as Rob now was.
Rob continued. "You, Mr. Whitmore, talk about 'relativity,' but you're being sloppy. It's not 'relativity' that says you can't go faster than the speed of light; it's 'special relativity.' Einstein's general relativity is far less famous, but should be well known amongst such a distinguished group of physicists." This came laden with sarcasm. He was letting his anger get the better of him. "But, just in case you've forgotten it, general relativity is about gravity. I'm suggesting the tests are flawed because they've all been conducted near a massive gravity source."
Whitmore started up again. "Are you that unread? How about the Ceres test?"
Rob shrugged. "Still conducted near the biggest gravity source around."
This took Whitmore aback. "What? The sun? What do you want to do, set up a supercollider on Pluto?"
"Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of a station outside of Pluto's orbit."
This brought nervous chuckles from many of the attendants. They were certainly living up to Frank's expectations. Whitmore laughed out loud. "And where do you expect to get funding for this half-baked scheme?"
Rob sighed and stared out over the crowd. "Obviously not from you." He straightened the papers in front of him. "Now, before I waste any more of your time, are there any more questions, or can we all get back to our normal activities of bottle washing and bean sorting?" He glared at them, letting his eyes rest on Whitmore.
The different scientists looked at each other. Then they too glanced to their colleague from MIT. He shook his head. "I don't have anything else I want to ask him."
Rob grabbed his papers, said, "Thank you, then," and spun on his toes. He marched out through the door behind the podium, tossing his notes in the trash on the way out. Frank sat in silence, ignoring the chatter from the other scientists. He glanced back and saw the linebackers look to each other and stiffly leave through the door they had guarded. With a sigh he stood up and addressed the panel. "You just don't disappoint, do you?" He grabbed his briefcase and followed after Rob.
Pushing his legs faster than a man his age should have been able to, Frank caught up with his former student as he stormed across the Diag. The green area in the center of campus was full of students working on their tans, not studying. Of course, that was typical of the laid-back summer quarter. Frank yelled, "Rob, wait!"
Rob ground to a halt and spun on his toes, focusing an angry glare on him. "They didn't even listen to me, Frank. They didn't even spare me a second's thought."
Frank pretended to try to catch his breath, throwing in an occasional wheeze. He nodded. "I know, Rob. They were unnecessarily brutal. But I did warn you about this."
Rob's face fell. "Yeah, you did."
"Come on, the Brown Jug on me."
They walked back to South University Street and up to the campus' prime greasy spoon. The Brown Jug was named after some football trophy Michigan continuously beat some other team for. Even after fifteen years of teaching here, that was all Frank knew about its origins. The football scene was well below Frank's tolerance for useless activities.
Rob pulled open the heavy wooden door and held it for Frank. Just as he stepped over the threshold, he glanced back in the direction of the Physics and Astronomy building and noticed the two unknown men from the lecture hall walking up the street. Shaking his head, he entered the Jug and grabbed a table. Since it was early afternoon in the summer, the place was empty.
The young waitress bound over to their table with menus in hand. She was obviously happy for something to do. "Slow day?" Frank asked.
"I'll say!" She smiled. When neither Frank nor Rob touched their menus, she asked, "Do you already know what you want?"
Having both eaten at the jug enough times to know what few meals were worth considering, they rattled off their orders. The waitress appeared ready to stay and chat, but Frank gave her glare and she slouched away.
He turned to Rob. "So, today you had your first professional trouncing by a board of scientists. How many years has it been since you took my freshman physics class?"
Rob smiled. "Like ten. I remember that class. You were one of my only teachers who didn't mind my asking lots of questions."
"That's right! The rest of the physics department hated you! It's easy to lecture verbatim from your fifteen-year-old notes. But when a student asks questions, sometimes you actually have to think."
Rob grinned. "Oh, no, we wouldn't want that. What would the other colleges say?"
They both chuckled and Frank was glad to see his friend starting to get over his disappointment. "And I don't think many of the dinosaurs on that panel have had an original thought in a century."
With a sigh, Rob said. "It certainly felt that way today."
"Well, not everyone can be inspirational. Like when I was your mentor through grad school, carefully molding one of the most brilliant young physicists I'd seen in a long time."
"Hah, you told me to drop physics and go into biology!"
Frank shrugged. "Sure, I've been telling you that all along. Biology is a safer field," in more ways than one, he thought, "and I was only trying to shield you from what you went through today. I mean, if you invented something new and tangible and handed it to them, none of those idiots could argue that it couldn't be done."
Rob nodded. "I suppose that's true."
And now was the most crucial part. The answer to this question meant the difference between years of work ending in failure or success. Evenly, Frank asked, "So, what are you going to do?"
Rob exhaled loudly and his face fell. "I don't know. They're right. I could never get funding for this. And without funding, there's no way to test my theories. Maybe I'll see what biology has to offer. Of course, I hate biology."
Frank worked hard to contain his elation. Success.

* * *

Half an hour later, they stepped out into the warm sun and ran into the two men from the lecture hall. The broad-shouldered guys looked almost identical, from their short brown hair to their square jaws and piercing brown eyes. They stood ramrod straight in front of a sleek white car. One must have gone back to get it while the other stood guard at the Jug. Rob looked at the car and whistled. It made Frank uneasy.
The one on the left spoke in a flat voice. "Robert Lawheed?"
"Yeah, that's me. What can I do for you?"
The one on the right answered in a similarly strange voice. "Our employer would like to speak with you about a business matter."
Frank recognized the car. It was made by Mystikeep, the pure research company that had invented cold fusion. They also created the world's first lifelike androids. He looked at the two linebackers again. Their faces stayed immobile as they fixed their gaze on Rob. When they blinked, they each did so at the exact same time. While the original Mystikeep androids were lifelike, they would never have passed for humans. Could these be an upgraded model? If so, who could afford two of them and a car? The realization chilled his very soul. His mind working furiously, he turned hastily to his friend. "Stay away from these guys, Rob. They're bad news!"
Rob arched his eyebrows at him. "Why, Frank? If big guys like that wanted to hurt me, they could have just grabbed me."
One of them spoke up. "Yes, please realize we will not harm you. We will only bring you to our employer, where you will speak with him. We will definitely have you back by tomorrow morning."
Rob looked to them in surprise. "Tomorrow? Where is your employer located?"
"The Seattle area."
That confirmed it. Rob's face became one of disbelief. "Wait a minute, are you saying you work for--"
"Please Rob, you really don't want to talk with these guys."
He turned back to Frank. "What's gotten into you, Frank? How can it hurt to hear what Mystikeep has to say?"
It hurt to watch his success rapidly degrade to utter failure. Mystikeep had no qualms about spending years and billions of dollars researching the most crazy schemes around, like room temperature superconductors and cold fusion. They also tended to hit on those crazy schemes and, by doing so, generate enough income to fund the next even more crazy idea. If any non-governmental entity could fund Rob's research, it was Mystikeep.
What could he do? Whatever it was, it had to be right now. But as the moment of truth arrived and the situation called for drastic measures, could he really take the necessary path? He doubted it. His voice shaking, Frank pleaded, "Rob, don't make me do this."
"Do what Frank? You don't have to come. I'll only be gone for the night."
The mere thought of what he was contemplating made Frank feel ill. His hand shaking, he reached toward his friend's neck. Rob would never suspect that his apparently old fingers could easily snap his neck in a second. He just needed to reach a little farther and . . . He felt his lunch churning in his stomach, and his vision became blurry.
Rob's concerned voice cut through it all. "Frank? What are you doing? Are you all right? You look kind of sick."
Concern. He could never kill someone showing him concern. He doubted he could ever kill anyone at all, but certainly not like this. His lunch threatening to come up, he spun around and bolted down South University, not looking back until he was blocks away. His eyes cleared, and he saw Rob get into the car with the androids. They drove away in the general direction of the airport. Mystikeep undoubtedly sent a private plane.
The Supreme would be profoundly disappointed in this turn of events. As he should be. It probably meant the end of them all.

* * *

Fren-kah waited impatiently outside the audience chamber. As much as he hated all visits with the Supreme, this one would undoubtedly be the worst. It wasn't often he got to inform his ruler that he'd utterly failed in his most critical mission. The giant stone doors opened silently, and he walked up to the dais, where he bowed low to the ground.
"Oh most exalted leader of our people, I bring you terrible news."
The Supreme waved his hands. "Get up! Get up and talk to me like a normal Hadean. You know I don't like all this useless formality." Fren-kah slowly rose to his feet. "Good, now what's the problem?"
He took a deep breath. "All is lost. The Terrans will have Faster Than Light ships within ten of their years."
The Supreme sat bolt upright in his seat. "Great God below! I thought we took care of them!"
"We should have. Our operative's plan was brilliant. He wowed them with a few parlor tricks to get their attention and then convinced them they could never leave their solar system. They haven't even tried for over a hundred of their years. He also gave them a tool that should have lead to their destruction. But somehow, despite their violent and self-destructive nature, the bastards managed to keep from blowing themselves up!"
When the Supreme shuddered at his vengeful voice, Fren-kah bowed his head in mock shame. "I'm sorry sir. I did not mean to offend you."
"Don't worry," his voice shook a bit. "People with your mutation are extremely disturbing, but you do have your uses. Please continue."
Fren-kah growled inwardly. The Supreme tried to be a good guy, but whenever they met he always managed to be so demeaning.
"While they did not destroy themselves, that was just a minor part of The Plan. The real point was to lock them in their small section of the galaxy and leave them there. And that worked very well. They are convinced that it is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, and they teach this as dogma, refusing to hear anything to the contrary."
"Then how will they ever make an FTL ship?"
"You see, they have their own mutants. Most Terrans are little more than herd animals. They'll believe anything their leaders and scientists tell them and never question it. Usually the amount of raw ignorance and stupidity is enough to squash all beneficial effects of their mutants' creativity and intelligence. But not this time. One mutant deduced the true nature of gravitation and the speed of light and has managed to go outside the normal herd. I'm confident that he will develop a working FTL ship frightfully soon."
Bordering on reproach, the Supreme asked, "I hope this situation did not take us by surprise."
Fren-kah laughed. "By surprise? I recognized this Terran's potential over ten of their years ago. I've spent my time since then trying to redirect his brilliance away from physics towards a more harmless discipline. He would have none of it. There is only so much you can do by peaceful means."
The Supreme looked sick. "Couldn't we have," he coughed and continued in a small voice, "taken care of the mutant?"
"What do you mean? Kill him?" Fren-kah derived some sort of sick pleasure in watching the Supreme cower in pain. "You can hardly even allude to that. Mutants like me who can actually think and talk about it are terribly rare. To find one who can actually bring about the act is almost unheard of. And those who can are never good for more than one mission. Do you know what happened to the original Terran operative, the one who implemented The Plan?" The Supreme shook his head. "We left him there for a bit and let him pretend to die of old age. But the damage had already been done. By the time we shipped him back here, he had gone insane. In the end he killed himself. Frankly, there is not a Hadean in existence today who is capable of killing another sentient being. But God knows I tried." His voice shook and a tear came to his eye. "Rob was right there. All I had to do was reach out and, and . . . but I couldn't even lift a hand to him. I couldn't even hit him, damn it!"
The Supreme took a while to compose himself and then spoke in a low voice. "If that violent race of animals ever finds us, we will be destroyed for sure. What can we do?"
The pause had given Fren-kah time to control his anger. Now all that remained was despair. "The universe is a big place. Maybe they won't find us."
"That's a lot to hope for."
"Yes, but hope is all we've got left."

Copyright Michael P. Calligaro, All Rights Reserved

PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 5:38 pm
by Adam

Well Grimdad to me Einstein's theory of relativity is a bit like golf - I know little about either !

But I did still enjoy the science fiction story that you posted, 'Einstein Was a Spy' !! So a good story can indeed still be written about anything !?


PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 4:46 pm
by GrimDad
Well here is another good short story I found with a very apt name ;

Golf Course

Perry Voight woke to find himself lying atop a small grassy hill from where he had a view over a very large golf course. Hole after hole, the golf course stretched away in all directions, reaching to the far horizon. According to his watch, the time was 6.17, and the dewy cool of the clean and scentless air suggested it was 6.17 in the morning. The sun was just rising.
"Uh huh," said Perry.
He had a very clear memory of having been put to death by lethal injection for the murder of his wife. In fact, Perry had not killed his beloved Daphne, nor did he know who had. But he was fairly sure that he himself was dead.
"So this is ....?"
Where? Heaven, possibly. Emerald greens stretching away forever. Little lakes of limpidly clear water. Here and there, occasional buildings looking clean and bright in the sunlight.
But his conscience was not clear enough for heaven. He had done some pretty ugly things in his time. Hell, then? Hell - no, he couldn't really see it. For a start, he had been genuinely repentant for his major sins. And, besides, as a fairly traditional, conservative guy, he couldn't square this endless golf course with any possible vision of hell.
"Limbo, then," he decided.
Limbo was for - for what? Was for the indifferent. Those too limply indecisive to be either good or bad. Those who had sleepwalked through life. But that didn't fit his own case, surely. Purgatory, then. The place where you atoned through suffering before going on to heaven. But suffering required - well, racks and whips and burning coals, that kind of stuff.
"It's the opening credits," said Perry, deciding. "The movie will start shortly, right?"
That made as much sense as anything. So he started downhill toward the nearest building, a silvery pavilion which sat beside a little lake. Thousands of orange birds were floating on the lake. And, when Perry got down to the water, he found the birds were plastic ducks. Pretty cute ducks, if you liked that kind of thing.
"Limbo," said Perry, deciding.
Heaven would have had real ducks, and shotguns to allow a guy the chance to shoot them dead. And there wouldn't have been anything cute in hell.
Inside the pavilion, there were dozens of cast iron tables, painted white, with precisely four lime-green plastic chairs at each table. The place was utterly deserted. A row of vending machines hummed faintly. They sold soft drinks, icecream, candy bars with familiar brand names, and newspapers. Unfortunately, Perry had no money. Frustrated, he punched one of the machines. A can of drink fell out.
"You could have just asked," said the machine.
"Okay," said Perry. "Give me. Please."
"Give you what?"
"Another can of the same. Thank you! Yeah, and you, some of that stuff. Yeah, and I'll have the newspaper. Thanks. And while we're at it - what place is this? I mean, you know, where does it fit in the, uh, heaven-hell spectrum?"
"Are you talking to me?" said one of the machines.
"Yes," said Perry.
"You must be nuts, then," said the machine. "I'm not a theologian, I'm a vending machine."
Well, that kind of confirms it, doesn't it? If you end up in a place where the vending machines talk about theology, you must be dead. Right? I guess.
While eating, Perry became aware that his bad tooth was still bad. Death, apparently, was no substitute for dentistry. This was not going to be much fun if he was going to have to eat on one side of his mouth for the rest of eternity. Definitely not heaven, then. In heaven, you got a full suite of medical benefits. Yeah, and a harp, and your own cloud, and all that good stuff.
Over his sugary, less than entirely satisfactory breakfast, Perry read through his newspaper, which was The Golf Course Times. Apparently the date was the fourth of July in the year Seven Tango Pineapple Blue. The news was rather like the breakfast: less than entirely satisfactory. "Tangerine Eclipse Percolated by Tea Leaf Bicycle." "Three Dead in Chicago Fire." "Small Earthquake In Peru - Not Many Dead."
Perry was reading a piece about the recent completion of the Great Pyramid of Cheops when a coughing clanking grumbling cacophony announced the approach of someone big and heavy. Turning, Perry saw a big guy coming toward him. The guy had the height of a basketball star and the bulk of a Japanese sumo wrestler. The guy, whoever he was, was green as a frog, and naked but for a gold watch and a bright orange penis sheath. His green skin was that of a crocodile and his teeth were that of a shark. There was a thin thread of blood leaking from one of his swollen nostrils. Slung over his shoulder was a huge leather bag filled with a clattering collection of golf clubs.
"God," muttered Perry.
"Midrog Shablash, sir," said the green entity, halting in front of him. "Midrog Shablash, at your service."
"Well. You want to start?"
"Uh, well," said Perry.
It's a trick. You answer in the affirmative and he hauls out one of those clubs and starts breaking your teeth. Right?
"Well?" said Midrog.
"Tell the truth," said Perry, "to tell the truth, what I'd really like is to see a dentist."
"A dentist?" said Midrog. "What's a dentist?"
"A tooth doctor," said Perry.
"Someone who repairs teeth."
"Oh, we don't have anyone like that," said Midrog. "Not here in Golf Course."
"In where?"
"Golf Course."
"And where's that?" said Perry. "I mean, is it, uh, you know, like, uh, something like hell? Or more like limbo?"
"Golf Course is Golf Course," said Midrog impatiently. "And I'm your caddy. You want to play golf or not?"
"What's the alternative?"
"The alternative to playing golf is not playing golf."
"Am I making a permanent choice here?" said Perry cautiously.
"Look, mac," said Midrog. "I'm a caddy. Got that? A caddy, pure and simple. You want to play golf, you play. You don't, you do whatever. It's all one to me."
"So what exactly is there to do?" said Perry. "Besides play golf, I mean."
"That's over to you, isn't it?" said Midrog. "This is Golf Course, not Disneyland. We don't have a big range of attractions."
"So ... do you have any suggestions?"
"Sure. You could pull your rod, or dig up the greens, or go bury your head in a sand trap, or spend the day breaking windows, or make a bow and arrow and go shoot some plastic ducks. It's a free country, mac."
"Okay," said Perry. "I'll play golf."
His golf had been indifferent in his former life, and it was equally as indifferent in Golf Course. His bad tooth occasionally niggled and griped, much as it had during the final weeks of his jailhouse existence. Occasionally, he was troubled by the faintest twinge of arthritic protest from his right hip, just as in real life. But his stamina had improved. In fact, he played all day without the slightest sense of strain or physical fatigue. And without eating, or needing to visit the bathroom.
It was only toward evening that Perry truly began to get tired.
"I want to stop," he said.
"Fine," said Midrog. "Whatever you say. There's a hotel over there."
And so there was. A white marble hotel adorned with a sign which said "Splendid's White Marble Golf Course Hotel."
"I don't have any money."
"Your credit's good."
"You mean I get a bill?"
"I was using one of those atom-splitting radioactive billfolds," said Midrog.
"One of those what?"
"Metaphors," said Midrog, correcting himself. "A metaphor. You can have what you want. The presidential suite, hot and cold running call girls, cable TV with 76 different ** channels, you name it."
And he was right. Not that it was perfect. In the hotel, the beds were too soft, the restaurant served nothing but plain rice and fried chicken, the liquor was too watery to get drunk on, the call girls were all in their late 40s, and the stuff on the ** channels was blurred and out of focus. But, compared to prison, it wasn't too bad. And, for a guy who was dead, Perry Voight didn't think he was doing too badly.
That evening, when Perry was relaxing in the lobby with a martini, Daphne entered the hotel.
"Daphne!" said Perry, so surprised that he spilt his drink as he stood. "Daphne," he said, staring at his wife. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm doing a survey," said Daphne.
"What happened?" said Perry. "Who killed you?"
"Which do you prefer," said Daphne. "Cigarettes or cigarillos?"
"You know I don't smoke," said Perry, who was so innocent of the smoking habit that he didn't even know what a cigarillo might be, or even if it was a real thing.
"Of course you don't smoke," said Daphne. "You were always too busy playing golf, weren't you?"
"Is that meant as a criticism?" said Perry.
"Finish the survey, and I might have time to tell you," said Daphne. "Next question. How many cigars do you smoke a day?"
"Daphne - "
"Do you want to do this survey or not?" said Daphne. "It's entirely voluntary, you know."
"Then let's skip it," said Perry.
"Fine," said Daphne, and promptly turned into a cloud of malarial mosquitos, one of which flew into Perry's ear as the rest scattered and vanished.
It took Perry most of the rest of the evening to get rid of the mosquito in his ear. (He finally had to drown it by filling his ear with warm olive oil.) By the time he finally got to bed, he was totally exhausted. And, at first, he slept with the dreamless intensity of a piece of fossilized bone.
Then he was woken at three a.m. by screaming from across the room across the hall. Perry got out of bed, pulled on his shorts and stumbled to the phone. He picked up the phone and tried to call the front desk, only to find the phone was dead. The screaming was getting worse and worse - an incoherent onslaught of uncontainable agony.
"The hell," said Perry, deciding.
He threw open his door and stepped out into the hall. As he did so, the screaming abruptly stopped. There was no sound in the corridor but for the hush of the air conditioning and a faint hum from the ice machine down the hall. Perry tried the door of the room opposite his own. The door opened.
Inside, a suite like his own. Nailed upside down to the wall, a man. A dead man. His throat had been cut. There was blood all over the suite. The man's swollen stomach was knotting and unknotting. Then a green snake bulged out of the gashed wound in the corpse's throat and, in one prolonged disgorging heave, flowed forth. Slick with blood, it slithered down to the floor, then vanished into the indecipherable shadows of the bathroom. The dead man's stomach was now flaccid, empty.
"Help!" yelled Perry. "Help! Call the police! Help help help!"
But there was no response. And, running through the hotel in his shorts, Perry found the whole place deserted. But for the caddy, Midrog Shablash, who was asleep on a couch in the foyer.
"The hell?" said Midrog, woken from sleep. "Look, mac, it's three in the morning. You want to play golf, fine. But I don't get going till the sun comes up. Union rules."
"I'm trying to tell you," said Perry. "There's this dead man."
"Yeah, yeah, I heard you the first time," said Midrog. "Hey. Shit happens. Go back to sleep."
"Sleep? After what happens?"
"Hey. Morning, I'll get you partnered up with Al Treeve. He's been here a while. You can play a few rounds, he can tell you a few things."
But sleep was impossible. Instead, Perry took two bottles of watery gin from one of the bars, and went outside, where he spent the rest of the night sitting on a sand trap trying unsuccessfully to get drunk.
"No substance abuse possible," explained Al Treeve, the next day. "Believe me, I've tried."
"So how long have you been here?" said Perry, as he teed up.
"About that long," said Al, accepting a golf ball from his caddy. "Long enough to earn old timer privileges."
"Such as?"
"Special golf balls, for one. Like this here Sinner Special."
"This what?"
"This," said Al, with a big grin.
A curious thing. A sphere, golf-ball dimpled but clear. Inside, a naked man and a naked woman. And a porcupine.
"They look in pretty good shape," said Perry, for want of anything intelligent to say.
"Sure. Regeneration. Smack! Whack! Trauma ward special. Then they get fixed up."
Inside the golf ball, the man and the woman sat slumped, listless. The porcupine was not moving. Experimentally, Perry shook the golf ball. Throwing the scene into screaming spasm.
"Jesus!" said Perry, shocked at his callous error.
"That's nothing," said Al with a chuckle. "Why, once I hit this sucker so hard both their heads came off."
"That's possible?" said Perry.
"Here? Sure. Anything's possible here."
"Doesn't this ... worry you? At all?"
"You some kinda atheist communist or something?" said Al, turning surly. "These are sinners."
Atheist communist. A tad old-fashioned.
"How long have you been here?" said Perry.
"Oh, since ... 1958, I guess. Yeah. That was it. 1958."
"This is sick," said Perry, peering into the bloodstained interior of the Sinner Special golf ball, where the man, the woman and the porcupine lay in a groaning heap.
"You were right," said Al, to Midrog. "He doesn't fit in." Then, to Perry: "You know your problem? You expect things to make sense."
"Of course."
"But they don't," said Al. "So get used to it."
"I don't think I can," said Perry.
"Well, then," said Al, and clubbed him, knocking him down.
"What did you do that for?" said Perry, looking up from the ground, too shocked to really feel pain.
"It's my little hobby," said Al. "Nice knowing you, Perry."
Then Al Treeve whacked Perry Voight in the head, killing him outright.
When Perry came to, he was lying in a concrete car park. A big one. It went on for miles. But there were no cars in sight. Off to his right was a golf course. Not a very nice one - it was a hot and shadeless glaring place with withered grass and stunted trees. Even so, some golfers were playing on it.
"So where's this?" said Perry, to himself.
"Thermostat," said one of the parking meters, answering him.
"You speak English?" said Perry.
"Sure I do," said the parking meter.
"Then - where is this?"
"I just told you."
"No you didn't."
"Yes I did. It's Thermostat."
"That's a place?"
"Yeah, sure. Basic theology. There's Cold Spaghetti, Alarm Clocks, Twisted Rodents and Thermostat. Oh, and Frozen Chocolate, too, let's not forget about Frozen Chocolate."
"And Golf Course?" said Perry.
"Yeah, you're right, there's Golf Course. I was forgetting Golf Course. But this is Thermostat."
"And they have golf here ....?"
"Oh, they have golf everywhere. Even in Japan."
Even in Japan. Same pattern. Grown men, little white balls. The men chase the balls. They hit them. The balls run away. The balls don't run far enough. The men see where the balls have fallen. They follow their quarry, meaning to hit again.
Off in the distance, Perry saw a woman talking to a couple of golfers. Maybe it was Daphne. Doing a survey? Maybe. Well. Maybe if you finally listened to her for once ....
"The American spirit of optimism will not be quenched even by death," said the parking meter, as if reading his mind.
"Hell, no," said Perry. "It won't. And why should it?"
And, without waiting for an answer, he set off, his mind set for once on winning the woman rather than on teeing off.

The End

This story, "Golf Course", was first published in Sackcloth and Ashes issue 6 December 1999 (ed. Andrew Busby) (Wigan, United Kingdom, ISSN 1462-2211) (pp 40-46; 2,739 words) (fantasy).

Copyright © 1999, 2002 Hugh Cook. All rights reserved.


PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:53 am
by Colin

Yes a very good story, more a sci-fi golf and I really like !!