Author Archive | Mark A. Rayner

Pirate Therapy

Pirate flagLaurence arrived a few minutes late for his regular Thursday morning session, but his therapist usually ran late, so he wasn’t worried.

From behind the door of his therapist’s office, he heard a blood-curdling scream, and then a thump. A door opened somewhere, and Laurence heard a strange sound, almost as though something heavy was being dragged. He heard grunts, scraping, and the rhythmical percussion of something booming on the floor. Laurence looked around, and realized the secretary was not there. He also realized he was standing, tense.

The door to his therapist’s office creaked opened, and he heard a rough voice shout: “Ahoy Larry! Be ye out there laddie?”

“Uh. Yes.”

“Come in, matey.”

Laurence walked unsteadily to the door and opened the door fully.

A pirate sat in his therapist’s chair. He had wild, unkempt hair held in by a greasy red bandanna, and a full dread-locked beard that looked like it was made out of black steel wool. He was wearing a stained white silk shirt, a sash of what was probably once a lovely dark green silk and pantaloons. He had one black boot, and he was missing a leg, which was replaced by a wooden peg that was carved into the shape of …

Laurence looked away.

“Arr matey, don’t ye like me leg?”

“Uh, it’s very creative,” Laurence said. “Um. Um, where is Dr. Glick?”

“She’s in-dee-sposed,” the pirate said. “She’s asked me to take care of her sessions today. Now, repeat after me: Arrrr!”

“Ar?”

“No, like ye mean it. Take a deep breath. No, don’t sit down. Ye won’t be sitting down this morning Larry, ye’ll be workin’! Now, say it: arrrr!!!”

“Arr.”

“Avast!” the pirate stood, the obscenely rounded end of his peg leg booming on the floor. A cutlass lay on Dr. Glick’s desk, and he picked it up. “I want to hear a real pirate yawlp before ye leave, ye bilge rat!”

Larry suddenly understood what that dragging sound had been. He looked around wildly for a weapon to defend himself; he picked up a pillow from the couch. Perhaps it would work as a shield.

“Would ye like a blankie too Larry? I won’t be caring if ye need to carry around a stuffed bear, as long as I hear ye. Now take a deep breath, and say it: arrrr!” The pirate’s voice was incredibly loud.

Laurence dropped the pillow and held his ears. He started shaking.

The pirate took a step closer and pointed the cutlass tip at Laurence’s throat; he lowered his voice and said menacingly: “I’ve slit the throats of better men than ye, Larry me boyo. Now say it, smartly lad, smartly!”

“Arr!” Larry managed, terror driving his voice several octaves higher.

“Grand! Grand!” the pirate enthused. “Now, let’s pretend you’ve got a pair, and say it again.”

“Arrr!” Larry shouted.

“Again!”
“Again! Louder!””Arrr!”

“Arrr!” Larry screamed.

“Arrr!” the pirate joined in.

“Arrr!”

“Arrr!”

“Arrrrr……..” Their joint shouting tailed off, and Laurence realized that the pirate was grinning at him.

“So how do ye feel matey?”

Laurence wanted to say he felt good, but he know that wasn’t the right answer, so he just muttered: “arrrrr.”

The End

Now buy ye’self some eye-patching, satirical fiction:

Alltop be wanting yer attention too, the scallywags. The title story in my collection, Pirate Therapy and Other Cures.

The Sarcastic Cyborg Debriefs

Sarcastic Cyborg Interviewed by Pug
[recording starts]

Is this thing on?

Seriously. Is it on? I’m not getting any neural feedback.

You humans are so odd. You are human aren’t you? Why don’t you just implant a microphone in your scull — there’s lots of room. That way the rest of the world could hear the same voice you do.

Oh yeah, you don’t sound like that. Right. Everybody says that when they hear their recorded voice the first time. It’s so predictable.

But just imagine what it was like for us before we improved the speaker systems in our bonded polycarbide armor — our voices always came out so screechy and monotone. Here, let me play you an old recording:

“EX-TER-MIN-ATE!”

Oh that’s terrifying, isn’t it?

I mean, if we had deep booming voices like that Darth Vader dude, it would be frightening. But as it was, we sounded like the Chipmunks after a crack cocaine and peyote button binge. Gonzo alien invasion.

Don’t worry, I’d never probe you.

Of course I’m being sarcastic. That’s what we do. We probe you bastards every chance we get. Not only is it fun, we know you hate it. (Well, all but 10% of you.)

Frankly, we just can’t trust a species that can survive without mechanical and electronic augmentation.

Well naturally, that’s why we introduced the Internet to your planet. You don’t think you apes came up with it do you? The iPod too.

What is wrong with you? Don’t you understand sarcasm? Are you brain-damaged or something?

I’m sorry. You do work for the government, don’t you?

I see you’ve discovered how to open my armor. Well, let me tell you’re in for a surprise. Yes, I’m one of the most attractive women you’ve ever met Jimbo. I only use Sean Connery’s voice pattern because it sounds cool whenever I use the letter ‘s’.

[mechanical sigh]

Yes, sarcasm again. I’m actually a little green blob, and the armor just makes me feel big. And shiny. Just like a forty-year-old account exec in his Hummer.

I see you’ve got the outer carapace open. Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

[recording ends]

Brilliant photo by Zoomar | More about Daleks[wikipedia] | Other sarcastic bastards. Originally published January, 2008, and now appearing in Pirate Therapy and Other Cures.

The Cybernetic Thought Projection Hat

from the 2037 Hammacher Schlemmer Glaven catalog

The Cybernetic Thought Projection HatThis hat recalls the iconic headgear worn by the Cognition Brigade during the Second Robotic War. First developed for long distance thought projection, hats of this design were worn by countless Though Soldiers during the war, as it was preferred for its ability to combat the medulla-inhibiting freeze rays of the Robotic Army of Dread.

True to the originals, its buttery-soft, plasskin dendrite injectors are durable yet supple, and its genuine high-impact titanium exterior and classic sound-sealing ear covers provide comfort and the ability to mute the screams of the Thought Soldiers dying around you, or more likely, inane chatter in the office.

This hat will allow you to send your thoughts up to one parsec away, assuming the person you’re sending your thoughts to is also wearing a similar hat. It automatically shuts off when removed from the head, or when the head is removed from the neck. Sizes S, M, L and XL.

Give some thought to buying a bit of satirical fiction …

Alltop likes earflaps.

The Laser Equipped Autonomous Robotic Vacuum

(from the 2037 Hammacher Schlemmer Glaven catalog)

The Laser Equipped Autonomous Robotic Vacuum<This is the robotic vacuum that navigates autonomously through your home up to seven times per week, where it can either clean your floors or patrol for intruders. The unit’s specially designed dual, counter-rotating agitator brushes spread carpet fibers and enable the vacuum to remove hair and other detritus from low- and high-pile carpets, while its dual Class VII lasers are capable of vaporizing any intruders (or more likely, unwanted refuse left on the floor).

Sensors redirect the unit when it encounters furniture, walls, or stairs, and its anti-tangle technology reverses the rotation of the brushes when it encounters rug fringe. Sensors will also allow your pets to survive The Laser Equipped Autonomous Robotic Vacuum. It cleans up to four rooms, and incinerates up to three large intruders per charge, and automatically returns to its drive-on charger when its battery runs low. (2′ 1/2″ H x 13″ Diam. 11 3/4 lbs.)

Vaporize your ennui with some satirical fiction …

Alltop pretends to be autonomous too.