Timetable 

You are the God of a little world. It is a world of a thousand paths. The paths link and interweave around themselves again and again. A vast spiral made of larger and larger terrifyingly precise squares. It explodes into a smaller and smaller fractals which curl and stretch into a thousand thousand lines. Each line takes dozens and dozens of tiny metal cars speeding along to unknown destinations. It is all so perfect. Nothing crashes or collides or delays. You have done it! You’ve really done it! You God of a little world have resolved the paradox. The system is in constant motion without conflict. Chaos is eliminated. Tears well up in your eyes. 

Until a terrible cutting voice rasps from beneath the table. It is the voice of foul corruption. There is a tree on a line. Somehow the wind was out of your control and now the whole beautiful system grinds to a halt. None of the trains can go. No! You scream. It can’t be true! It can’t be! Can it? But it is. And now none of the trains will move for hours. Your spiral of squares, once so majestic, is now made a mockery- a colossal billowing embarrassment.
After a while you hold back your shuddering. You pick yourself up off the ground and contact each and every train: telling them the line is clear and they can go. Each one trusts you. Their screams and cries for help ring out of your discarded headset. The entire system disintegrates into fire and blood before your eyes.

Break In:

A sealed room. Darkness. The blind is down. The walls and floor are bare. The bed is stripped. The wardrobe is empty. The ensuite bathroom door is shut. If it were open its own barren nature would be evident. The desk is bare- drilled into the war. No one lives here now. The previous occupant has been scooped out. All trace of former life is removed (ghosts of the past year scrubbed from the carpet). In a few months, a new recipient will fill the beautiful void. Eden. -… Said no one. There was no one there. They said nothing. Even I wasn’t there. I don’t exist. There simply was the empty room. Total stillness. Near silence except the infinitely distant whirring of traffic far away. Light spilled in around the sides of the blind for a faint suffusion around the otherwise unlit domicile. Empty grey boxes squatted under the barren bed frame. A single speck of dust was kicked loose by the air and fell gracefully through the darkness- sparkling for one moment in the tiny beam of sunlight that burst through a single blind-kink- before settling on the carpet. Out in the hallway there were some footsteps. They grew louder as they came down the hallway, reached a fever pitch outside, before shrinking away again as they went into the kitchen. After one minute, the footsteps returned before promptly disappearing once more. There was silence. Even the traffic was gone. The room was still. Suddenly there was a scratching at the door as someone picked the lock. The door burst open oh the terrible rape of that light striking tormentable the still room! The door swung shut again. Silence.

Mind Games 

“There are infinite Primes”

Status: TRUE
Proof: 3 lines long (6 Logical Labour Points).

Some statements are fast and easy to prove. They take very little thought to prove. In a sense they take a very small amount of thought ‘potential’ to become proven true. She didn’t pick up. I tried calling again. Still no reply.

“2042214672 is divisible by 31624 and 611137”
Status: FALSE
Proof: 0.1 lines long  (0.2 LLP)

Some statements are clearly false and, likewise, it’s easy to prove so. A single eyelash lay on the carpet. It had an extension. Neither me nor my wife did so.

“No three positive integers a, b, c satisfy the equation a^n + b^n = c^n for any integer value of n greater than 2”
Status: TRUE
Proof: 1947394848 lines long (3894789696 LLP)

Some take a truly vast amount of proof. So much that it may seem like a staggering task to find out the truth (She was very late back from work…)

If n is odd print 3n+1. If n is even print n/2. Repeat until n doesn’t change. N will inevitably become one.
Status: UNKNOWN
Proof: (If true) 9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999-

Some may well be true, and provable, but require such a vast amount of intellectual  labour to show as such that the universe would end before such a problem could be fufilled. The shower had a pair of handprints on the inside.

“I don’t know how but she MUST be cheating on me!”
Status: TRUE
Proof: MATHS ERROR- Proof cannot be printed (N/A)

People find the idea that some truths cannot be known a strange one. Really: it is just the inevitable end result of such an endlessly productive process. The… dispassionate interplay of creative and rigorous Thought.

Lash

I was walking in the night. Down the alleyways behind penthouse apartments. But I wasn’t on my usual hunt through bins for rubbish (untreated schizophrenia and a bad leg). Three nights ago, I had my usual haunt stolen from me by a particularly fearless red fox. The beast had nearly bitten me before I had fled. I would have died from the infection by now if it had. Now I had assembled the weapons I needed from a long walk across town for an abandoned rubbish tip. I had a long metal pipe, a short piece of metal I had sharpened into a shive, and a bag of assorted gravel and grit jumbled together. The walk back took nearly three hours and my leg was bruised so badly small pinpricks of blood snagged on my sodden trouser leg. I so desperately wanted to sit down and once or twice had to hold myself against the wall to desperately pant and wheeze. By the time I reached the alleyway in question I wanted to keel over from the white phosphorus erupting in my chest. Undaunted I crossed the threshold into the alleyway and squared up to it- striking the metal pole against a dumpster to attract the beast’s attention. There it was, dimly illuminated in the moonlight streaming down the sides of the international bank and Anglican Mega-church, my cardboard box despoiled by the mongrel creature. And, on que, a terrible burnt orange head and glimmering eyes erupted from it. I narrowed my eyes and I could tell that the fox was assessing my size and strength just as I assessed it. Now I would take back what was mine.

As it charged towards me I first slammed its body with the pole and crashed it against the wall. The fox howled in pain but leapt up again. The pole formed a cross across my body so, though I was knocked back, I was unharmed and had a chance to swipe at the creature with my shiv. Its nimble body ducked away and my swing brought me off balance a little. As I regained it the creature was charging. I dodged and swept out it’s legs. It flew onto it’s back. I went to bring the pole away but it clawed it back. For a moment, we were locked into a death struggle. Both of us had too much to lose. The creature fell first and I seized the chance. I smacked its body again and again. I could see it’s flesh grow swollen and bloody. But as I gained the upper hand, cornering the pitiless creature, it grew only more ferocious. That’s how I lost the eye- in a thousand, uncoordinated, subtle but devastating clawed swipes. I had to pin the creature down and even repeated shiv-ing did not cause it to relent. It pushed back so hard I was thrown off balance. Now the creature went on the offensive swiping at me again and again forcing me to retreat. It’s body trembled with a hundred deep wounds but it was undeterred. Worse than that as I backed away the fox threatened to corner me. I swung and the pole was knocked down. I took a plunge with the shiv and took multiple deep gashes along my arms and head. It took another swing just as I threw up the bag which it’s claws merrily sliced straight through. A vast cloud of glimmering metal dust and grit billowed over us both. I knew what the bag contained and shut my remaining eye just in time. A terrible yowling and screaming struck the creature and all fight was sapped from it. As I opened I saw its slender body slip out the alleyway and into the night.

Dragging my broken body deeper into the crevice between mighty obelisks I closed my box’s flaps just as an almighty thunder storm began. I listened to the rain pattering on the roof and smiled.

Misandry

-You have to help me out Doctor! The man cried out. A flash of lightning struck the windowpane and thunder rippled through the leaky timber of the old house. Doctor Constance had been woken in the middle of the night. The man was wild eyed but well dressed- clearly his air of respectability was usually well managed and impeccable. Now however was the time of night when men’s guilt would haunt them- when terrible bloody-mouthed vampiric Truth would emerge from her well to shame all mankind. Now they were sat by the fire and the man was telling his story. He was, as the Doctor had suspected, an upper class man who had become a professional fop to stave off affluenza after a thirteen carriage pile-up had wiped out his entire immediate family and left him with a sizable inheritance. He had moved from London out to the country this week and this evening was his first night on out in the new town since his arrival. The man (he remained nameless) had spared no time in attempting to seduce a reasonably handsome common girl. The man made it clear his intentions were proper to his station in life. He visibly winced at the idea of being officially involved with women of that common character.

Whatever his predilections for pursuing wild women the Man had taken the woman back to a hotel room and the two had spent a few hours together. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. The man looked up suddenly. Doctor Constance told him to ignore it as it was probably a beggar who would soon give up and go away. The Man relayed to Doctor Constance his agitation as the girl again and again refused to sleep with him. He demanded subtly at first but more and more explicitly as the hours dragged on. So by the early hours of the morning, when she tried to leave, he had grabbed her arm. The Doctor had once lived in London. He had treated many a bashed up young women who had refused the advances of the civilised classes. This should not have put the man into such a state. There was more.

-And then what? Doctor Constance asked. The man was sat bolt upright in his chair like he was listening to every creak of the house. His hands were shaking. He turned his head to compensate for the lack of prey-like peripheral vision. He had to be asked again because he seemed distracted.

-Ah yes well she still tried to leave so I beat the damned creature for being so impertinent.

The girl had begun crying. The man was vague on the details but it was obvious he had lost control of himself and began to strike her again and again. The man claimed he was drunk but this was supposedly a few hours ago. The man was perfectly sober- if rather shaken. There was another knock at the door.

-Then she just stopped moving and…

The story continued with a painful inevitability. The poor girl had died from the fright of the attack. She was used to the rather more docile men of the provincial village she lived in. She was not ready for the passion of city gentlemen. Knock Knock.

-So I buried the body. Oh good god I buried the…

The man was clearly very alarmed.

-Oh god she… then I… then… He began to sob. His whole body was heaving and Doctor Constance had to hold him steady. It took a few tries for the Man to get the sob-riddled words out until finally…

-After… she was buried… I drove home… and I… and I… He took a deep breath.

There was a very loud banging on the door.

-I heard her voice! I heard the ghost of that poor creature! Oh may god have mercy!

Bang Bang.

SHE’S FOUND ME OH MY HEAVENS THE BITCH HAS FOUND ME OH GOD YOU WON’T TAKE ME ALIVE

The man stood up. Doctor Constance leapt up. The Man ran to the hallway and withdrew a large pistol. When Doctor Constance arrived his body lay in a growing pool. The door had been knocked open by the incredible wind. The rain lashed down outside in the darkness dimly illuminated by a single gas lamp on the veranda. Doctor Constance peered out into the gloom.

There was no one there.

Tower Bloc.

Everyone in the tower block is of one mind. We lie in wait behind upturned sofas and makeshift barricades in the lobby. The lobby is the only part of the building that has remained in its derelict state. They aren’t just defending themselves and their families but also their way of life. The building was left abandoned for over a decade before the sixteen families in the collective occupied it. They rarely leave save for scavenging runs or to join demonstrations against the New National Government. Outside helicopters whirr and copcar after copcar line up outside. The militiamen leader, a shrewd ex-marine, peers through a slit in the blind at the approaching silhouettes. She cocks a slender rifle. Any second now, we think, any second now the door will burst open. A few of us feel a shake to our resolve. We are not likely to survive this.

The floor above has been completely cleared in case the defending party need to fall back. Only one teenager sits on a pile of ammunition and bandages. He smokes to calm his nerves. Clouds of billowing smoke fill the big lofty staircase. Inside the single apartment on this floor the table still has the abandoned breakfast bowls. All the food has been taken further upstairs as has what was once quietly growing under the now disused UV lamps in the corner.

On the second floor the families crammed into Apartment’s 2A and 2B finish fortifying the doors. The children are in a backroom in case the pigs do choose to break in and the adults inside have to use the numerous AK-47’s littering the kitchen table. A few teenagers and a few Elderly people as well as Kathy, our domestic leader. She listens out for any sound downstairs. Her wheelchair creaks gently with her nervous fidgeting as she clicks a clip of bullets in and out of a handgun. One of the teenagers finishes bolting something to the door. There is silence now. The terrifying silence before slaughter.

The three floors above are much the same situation. In each the weapons, the leaflets, the books, the food supplies, and drugs and vegetable beds sit securely behind dozens of hair triggers. In the backroom one of the children tends her small balcony vegetable garden in peace.

Above them all the second militia group prepares for coppers landing on the roof and coming down. Five loiter in the hallway listening for their sixth comrade on the roof acting as lookout. One has a scar across his face inflicted by an obedient soldier of the New National Government for stealing a box of cereal.

 

All sixteen families hear the first gunshots downstairs and wince.

By The Hour…

The man sat at his desk. The clock ticked. The man wanted to be in his garden. He wanted to grow little vegetables and flowers in it but he didn’t have the time. As he worked furiously away he liked to imagine little tomatoes and baby carrots and courgettes. All around them an ornate floral guard defending the treasury within. But he didn’t have time. He at least wanted to be home. There was a book he desperately wanted to read and he wanted to make love to his spouse. He couldn’t do that either. The man was just as tired as his husband after a long day and they simply lay beside one another before sleep. It had been months. He didn’t have time. Or rather, he couldn’t give his time over to his self and book and spouse. It’s not that he didn’t have time. Time was passing (the clock ticked louder) and he wasn’t about to be killed or anything. But the time he did have was promised to his Boss. He had to sit at that desk until the clock said he had sold enough of his time to the Boss. The clock roared on its little steel throne perched high on the wall. No time for sex or his mind or his vegetables or flowers. He looked up from his work and at the clock. It ticked. He looked back at the work. It wasn’t that he didn’t like the work: it was certainly very useful. The man realized the work was fine. There was no reason he couldn’t have many things to do in a day rather than just one. The clock ticked. The man stood up. All his colleagues looked round at him in surprise.

Glass fragments and two metal hands littered the ground. The Boss came out of his office to find his employees had disappeared.