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Twisted Tails V [Apocalypses Now and Then]
by J. Richard Jacobs

Category: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Description: Entropy. All things, good and bad, come to an end. It is the way of the Universe that it will one day succumb to the "SIGNIFICANT SUCK" and collapse in on itself, or it will experience the "BIG BLOW" and expand until there is nothing but cold darkness on all sides. There is also a third alternative...it could reach a steady-state, though that is doubtful, and all the stars in it will merely run out of gas along the way. They will become dead, black cinders, but all of those possibilities are the common end product of entropy. In astronomy the first condition in the running down of entropy is simply called "Cold Death" while the second and third states are known as "Heat Death" or the "Big Freeze". I love best the sound of the second description.... "Heat Death". There isn't a day passes that I don't say it to myself a few times. "Heat Death...." "Heat Death...." It has a pleasant ring to it, don't you think? It could become a mantra for the Clan of the Apocalypse gathered near the eternal flow around a roaring fire, an animated symbol of end in itself. They sit lotus style, hands laid on their knees, palms up, chanting, "Oammmmm, Heat Death, Heat Death, beautiful Heat Death...Oammmmmm...," as the hungry flames consume what were once lovely green trees, reducing them to a pile of fine, gray ash that will be scattered on the winds of time. Will there be a Phoenix? No one can say. Probably not.

In another sense, entropy refers to the decay and eventual terminal condition of institutions, empires, societies, and anything else you can dredge up from the depths of your sordid imagination. Everything that grows into organization will eventually dismantle itself in the process called entropy. The word "Apocalypse" has the same basic meaning, but it is a more powerful way of saying it. Apocalypse conveys a more catastrophic feeling but, in the end (sorry for the pun), it all finishes with the same outcome. Fin. The end. Period.

The end of a day disastrous. The end of a cataclysmic century. The end of a fateful era. The falling apart of a fragile relationship. The fall of a fractured empire. The demise of a deal demonic. Plans gone awry. Your final fight for that last breath. "Aaaaaaaagh...." Okay, how poetic can a last gasp be?

TWISTED TAILS V looks at ends. Many kinds of ends. It treats all terminal conditions in the contorted, irreverent style the TWISTED TAILS series has come to be known for...and it does it with a polished, glossy class rarely found in today's pop literature. Come along with us as we follow a treacherous, tortured and twisting trail to the place where good ol' entropy delivers the coup de grace....

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Darkness by J. Richard Jacobs

2. Uncurable by Matthew Hance

3. Dialing the Future by Marilyn Peake

4. Experiencing Technical Difficulty by J. Richard Jacobs

5. Don't Blame Me by John Klawitter

6. Testimony by Kim McDougall

7. Alien Road Kill "Deal Breaker" by Steve A. Zuckerman

8. Doreen and the Spacemanby John Klawitter

9. Hybernaculum by Kim Mcdougall

10. Soup by J. Richard Jacobs

11. You are History by Vivian Unger

12. The Day the Music Stopped by Ann Dulhanty

13. Gratitude by Todd R. Snow

14. God gets an MBA by Ann Dulhanty

15. A Time to Die by Todd R. Snow

16. The Sadness is in the Lookingby J. Richard Jacobs


eBook Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing/Double Dragon Publishing, 2010 Double Dragon eBooks
eBookwise Release Date: March 2010

eBookeBook

4 Reader Ratings:
Great Good OK Poor
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [341 KB]
Words: 72422
Reading time: 206-289 min.


FOREWORD

Entropy. All things, good and bad, come to an end. It is the way of the Universe that it will one day succumb to the "SIGNIFICANT SUCK" and collapse in on itself, or it will experience the "BIG BLOW" and expand until there is nothing but cold darkness on all sides. There is also a third alternative...it could reach a steady-state, though that is doubtful, and all the stars in it will merely run out of gas along the way. They will become dead, black cinders, but all of those possibilities are the common end product of entropy. In astronomy the first condition in the running down of entropy is simply called "Cold Death" while the second and third states are known as "Heat Death" or the "Big Freeze". I love best the sound of the second description.... "Heat Death". There isn't a day passes that I don't say it to myself a few times. "Heat Death...." "Heat Death...." It has a pleasant ring to it, don't you think? It could become a mantra for the Clan of the Apocalypse gathered near the eternal flow around a roaring fire, an animated symbol of end in itself. They sit lotus style, hands laid on their knees, palms up, chanting, "Oammmmm, Heat Death, Heat Death, beautiful Heat Death...Oammmmmm...," as the hungry flames consume what were once lovely green trees, reducing them to a pile of fine, gray ash that will be scattered on the winds of time. Will there be a Phoenix? No one can say. Probably not.

In another sense, entropy refers to the decay and eventual terminal condition of institutions, empires, societies, and anything else you can dredge up from the depths of your sordid imagination. Everything that grows into organization will eventually dismantle itself in the process called entropy. The word "Apocalypse" has the same basic meaning, but it is a more powerful way of saying it. Apocalypse conveys a more catastrophic feeling but, in the end (sorry for the pun), it all finishes with the same outcome. Fin. The end. Period.

The end of a day disastrous. The end of a cataclysmic century. The end of a fateful era. The falling apart of a fragile relationship. The fall of a fractured empire. The demise of a deal demonic. Plans gone awry. Your final fight for that last breath. "Aaaaaaaagh...." Okay, how poetic can a last gasp be?

TWISTED TAILS V looks at ends. Many kinds of ends. It treats all terminal conditions in the contorted, irreverent style the TWISTED TAILS series has come to be known for...and it does it with a polished, glossy class rarely found in today's pop literature. Come along with us as we follow a treacherous, tortured and twisting trail to the place where good ol' entropy delivers the coup de grace....

* * * *
* * * *

We've all heard the adage, "It's best not to let the genie out of the bottle before you know what it wants," right? We've been cautioned that setting the jinn free before its true character is known is courting disaster. We, at least most of us, have been cautioned that genies come in different flavors and that most of them turn out to be bitter. Let's test the saying, shall we?

* * * *
* * * *

1. Darkness

by
J. Richard Jacobs

Derek and I were seated on the stone retaining wall that keeps the teeth of a gluttonous high tide surf from eating away the street behind us. We were enjoying a bag of greasy, deep-fried Big Beef and Bean Burrito Balls from the Super-Speedy a couple of blocks south. The day was warm, the sun a blazing globe above us and the tide was out.

He stopped in mid-munch, mumbled something incoherent through his mouthful of crunchy Burrito Ball, and pointed out to the surf line. A muddy-green bottle lay on the wet sand.

Before I could say anything, he raced across the narrow strand. In a flash he grabbed it and was coming back on a dead run, waving it over his head like some sort of trophy. A few yards from our spot on the wall he gripped the cork in his teeth.

"Don't open the--"

!POINK!

Too late.

A dark, dirty-brown gas oozed from the bottle.

"Honey, never set the genie free before you know its true intentions," Mom always said.

I haven't seen Derek since the darkness descended upon us and it's getting unbearably cold.

END
* * * *

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