Poisoned Pea World

That moment when you tentatively step on the frozen pond and realise that what you thought was thick ice was nothing more than a single, lightly chilled layer of pork scratchings. But who has perpetrated this illusion? Who?

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That moment when you can see tiny people have arranged the pile of nachos like a stockade or testudo, and are peering out from within, armed with cocktail sticks and tiny blowpipes.

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When hundreds of tiny people, having contrived to fill a balloon at least partially with their tiny breaths, manipulate its nozzle into the aperture of a peashooter, and ready themselves to fire a deadly poisoned pea by loosening their collective grip.

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That moment when, as the poison pea flies towards you, you realise that its surface is inhabited by millions of microscopic, featherless, bird-like creatures, for whom the venomous coating acts as a combination of atmosphere and nutrient.

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When you observe the turducken/octopoid/crab people observing you from elaborate stepped platforms as Poisoned Pea World hurtles toward the huge sun of your head, thousands of years of their history unfolding in frantic recalculations as you open your mouth.

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When, as the dried pea strikes your uvula and jams in the old epiglottis, it sounds like a dead bell in the empty oval of your skull, and, as you pass out, the lovely resonance seems to bear you down a long corridor lined with the muffled skeletons of flightless birds.

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That moment when you waken up inside a giant turkey carcass orbiting what you realise must be a distant planet. But who would live on a planet like this?

The Adventures of Doc Moreau and I, 17: Doc Moreau and the Giant Mutant Bees

A spokesthing for the Ministry of Hope has announced, ‘For the first time in a hundred fears, the Ministry is hanging out the Hopenets on the Cape of Can’t Cope, hoping against hope that a few scraps of hopeyness can be carried hither in the Great Wind of Despair…’

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‘However,’ the spokesthing continued, ‘I got a bad feeling about this.’

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Chimeric physicists have returned to dangerous work in their laboratory in the trenches of the Pessim Abysm, attempt to split the primary matter of Despair into two volatile components: the D particle, and the conjectured Sperare Principle.

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‘If we can just implant the Sperare Principle into the minds of these giant mutant bees,’ lead scientist Doc Moreau explained, ‘then we’ve turned ‘despair’ into what I call ‘beespair’, which certainly sounds like it ought to be an improvement.’

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‘The plan then is to release the giant mutant bees so that, by producing ‘Hopey Honey’, they shift the National Cosmic Balance. Of course, there is a small but manageable risk that they will sting everyone in their path to death.’

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‘By ‘manageable’ I mean that most of the people they sting to death will be without hope in any case, thus reducing the overall quotient of hopelessness,’ Doc Moreau concluded.

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Beside him, the spokesthing for the Ministry of Hope reiterated, ‘I got a bad feeling about this.’

Glass Heads

Forty watt glass-headed rabbits dotting the hillsides by night, apparently nibbling on grass, but electrocuting hapless foxes and foolish owls, then recharging by devouring their charred remains.

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Sixty watt glass-headed deer so you can see their greenest thoughts on distant hills by use of tele-psi-scope. Like deer astronauts their dreams ascend like lightning from their antler tips into the clouds and bring down ghost riders.

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100 watt glass-headed squirrels sending arrow showers of light through the forest as they dash up branches and hop onto the shoulders of fur-shrouded deities, biting their ears and drawing forth blood that groans as it slops down through the leaves.

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150 watt glass-headed mammoths blundering through the midnight forest, trying to get back to the steppe. Their heads are so bright they blind each other and crash into the trees, smashing the huge bulbs. Each light going out is one step closer to extinction.

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200 watt glass-headed plesiosaurs gliding rapidly through the peat-darkened lochs: their lights can be detected at considerable depths by nightboats crossing, as though looking out for the streaks of meteorites in the skies above.

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500 megawatt glass-headed Jörmungandr clearly visible crawling through the trenches at the bottom of the ocean by astronauts falling from space having forgotten where they left their spaceships.

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Forty gigawatt glass heads on either end of double-headed 500 km long space centipedes slowly arcing through the Oort Cloud in shoals of up to a million, lights pulsing in ornate patterns that appear to be some form of palindromic remorseless code…