Artists Of Suggestion

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DATo
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Artists Of Suggestion

Post by DATo » 09 Sep 2018, 10:41

Artists Of Suggestion

by

DATo

DISPATCH TEAM - Artists: Muriel - Hesiod
SUBJECT - Amanda Mercer - Age 14
CASE NUMBER - UVX/18954607/94b
MISSION - Embed SOR Level #4
PRIORITY - Immediate


Hesiod emerged from a milky veil of mist and stood contritely before Muriel.

“Hesiod, you’re late again.”

“I’m sorry Muriel. Lothario asked me to consult with him regarding a particularly delicate mission which he must undertake tonight.”

“Are you adequately appraised of our own mission?”

“Oh, yes, Muriel. I studied the case file extensively before my consultation with Lothario.”

“Then you know we have a Level 4 Subliminal Offensive Reflex to embed?”

“Yes. Yes, I do.” Hesiod shifted uncomfortably as he stood before Muriel with his eyes lowered.

“What’s wrong Hesiod? Are your sensitivities getting in the way of your professionalism again?”

“No Muriel. I will be fine. You can rely on me, but you must admit that the Level 10 SOR we embedded in the last mission we worked together resulted in a tragedy.”

“The tragedy was well deserved Hesiod, or have you forgotten why the Level 10 was ordered.”

“No Muriel, I haven’t forgotten, but I hate extremes. I am not suited for these SOR missions. You know I have filed for reassignment many times.”

“Well, you can relax Hesiod. This will only be a Level 4. You know why you have been assigned to SOR duty don’t you? You constantly went overboard with the C/R missions to which you were assigned. When you promote a Level 2 C/R to a Level 8 you do not encourage smiles from Administration.”

“But Muriel, I like to make subjects happy. We are allowed so few Contentment / Relaxation missions that when I finally get one I want it to be a corker.”

“DON’T GIVE ME THAT HESIOD! The subject was only supposed to find a one dollar note, plant it among his petunias, and have his favorite chocolate bar tree grow from it. Instead you had the subject win the lottery, become a rock star, and end up as the king of Tonga.”

“I did go a bit overboard, didn’t I?”

“This girl, Amanda Mercer, is being bullied by a group of boys at school led by that little sh*t, Bradley Scone. Thus far she has been too timid to respond and our job is to fix that. Correct?”

“Yes, Muriel.”

“Did you assign the construction crews?

“I did Muriel. They have been working all day, but as usual there have been complications. The front of the school looks like Wal-Mart and there are palm trees growing from the roofs of the cars in the parking lot and all the shopping carts are baby carriages.”

“That’s to be expected Hesiod. The construction crews on all the missions have only limited information on the scenes they are to build. We have to do the best we can with what we have to work with.”

“Are you ready to begin Muriel?”

“Yes, but the subject is not ready yet. Let’s have a cup of ambrosia while we wait.” The mists parted as Muriel and Hesiod made their way to the canteen.

Amanda Mercer lay in her bed. Her brows were knitted, her breathing was erratic, and her head turned from side to side on her pillow. Beside her bed on the lamp stand was a teddy bear - a relic of earlier times when the world was kinder and not so complicated. She was not conscious of the humiliations and physical abuse she had been receiving for the first month of her freshman year at Franklin Pierce high school. She was not conscious of anything. Amanda Mercer was asleep.

Muriel and Hesiod were sipping their ambrosia and discussing mission tactics when both of their beepers went off simultaneously. They both immediately set down their ambrosia cups, rose from their seats, and sauntered to their Mission Control cubicle.

“DATA!” Shouted Muriel.

A mechanical voice responded: “Subject - Amanda Mercer, UVX/18954607/94b, entered REM state 10:06:42 - duration 00:01:34 and counting.”

Hesiod waved his arm over the free-floating translucent platform in the center of the cubicle and he and Muriel began to closely monitor Amanda’s dream.

Amanda walked into the front door of Wal-Mart and immediately beheld the main hallway of her school. To her left Miss Wheatley was discussing something with the principal. Miss Wheatley’s face was the only thing that looked like Miss Wheatley, the rest of her looked like a giant penguin. Amanda fleetingly recalled something about Miss Wheatley once mentioning that she had wanted to become a nun when she was a young girl. The hall had been empty a moment before with the exception of Miss Wheatley and the principal, but now it was teeming with students milling about their lockers and a general pandemonium of activity surrounded her. Amanda was suddenly afraid, but she could place no name to her fear. And then Bradley Scone and his minions surrounded her. The rest of the students in the hall became silent and watched as Bradley and his lackeys began to taunt Amanda. Behind her she felt a tug at her hair. Bradley was coming closer, he was reaching out his hand. At this precise moment Hesiod and Muriel lowered their faces on either side of Amanda’s head and to the uninitiated observer it would appear that they were about to kiss. Instead of kissing they blew gently into Amanda’s ears. Amanda woke up with a start. It was morning and she could hear her mother calling her to get up for breakfast.

Amanda sat alone during the bus ride. She dreaded high school. She dreaded what she knew awaited her. The front of the school no longer looked like Wal-Mart it looked like Franklin Pierce high school. She walked down the hall to the stairs which led to her second floor locker. On either side of her students were opening and closing their own lockers, chatting, and laughing as usual and then she beheld Bradley Scone and his gang. They had not seen her. Perhaps she could slither past them hidden by other students walking between them. No such luck. Upon noticing her they quickly surrounded her as they had done in the dream. She could move neither forward or backward. She wanted to scream but couldn’t. She felt someone tug at her hair which jerked her head backwards. Bradley Scone was saying something about falsies and reaching out his hand, “I’m gonna find out for myself.” Amanda’s brow was knitted once more, as it was in her sleep, but this time it was not knitted by consternation, but by rage. Amanda let loose with her best soccer kick which she aimed at Bradley’s shin; however, the kick missed and landed higher. Bradley crumpled to the floor holding his groin. Amanda dropped her books and was immediately on top of him pummeling his face with both her fists. She then picked up the formidable history book among those she had dropped and slammed it with both hands repeatedly into Bradley Scone’s face. One of Bradley’s troop tried to pull her off but she grabbed his arm in a vise-like grip and bit down on it with the power of a lioness. Amanda was still pulling Bradley’s hair and kicking him in the ribs when two teachers and the security guard pulled her off.

As she sat confined in the teacher’s lounge Amanda knew there would be trouble. Her mother would be arriving shortly and her sins would be exposed. It might possibly even result in a suspension. At very least there would be hell to pay. But it would take far more than these minor inconveniences to wipe the enormous smile off Amanda’s face.

“Hello, Lotherio. What were the results of your mission?”

“Hesiod, your advice was invaluable. He proposed to her this afternoon. They will be married in May. And your mission - I know you were concerned about it - what were the results?”

“Muriel and I were summoned to Administration.”

“OH NO! You mean you were actually summoned to appear before the Administration? They must have been enraged.”

“Not a bit of it my dear Lotherio. Muriel and I were called to Administration to receive a golden citation. You see, our subject cured a streak of malevolence in her oppressor which was destined to result in wife and child abuse in the distant future. Our subject’s oppressor has had, shall we say, a permanent attitude adjustment.”

“And the subject, Hesiod. What will become of her?”

“Well Lotherio, I have it on good authority that she is destined to become an American Navy Seal. Muriel is making it her special ambition to see that she succeeds.”

Hesiod and Lotherio then disappeared within the mists, and the black oblivion of night.

/
“I just got out of the hospital. I was in a speed reading accident. I hit a book mark and flew across the room.”
― Steven Wright

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Artifacs
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Post by Artifacs » 09 Sep 2018, 14:26

I love it when a plan comes together. :)
Nice story. I liked very much Hesiod's overworking with the one dollar note.
By the way. Are they elfs or fairies or something like that?

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DATo
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Post by DATo » 09 Sep 2018, 16:33

Artifacs wrote:
09 Sep 2018, 14:26
I love it when a plan comes together. :)
Nice story. I liked very much Hesiod's overworking with the one dollar note.
By the way. Are they elfs or fairies or something like that?
Thanks Artifacs!

They are supposed to be the creators of our dreams. The idea for the story was inspired by 1) an old Twilight Zone episode, 2) Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, and 3) A Norman Rockwell painting.
“I just got out of the hospital. I was in a speed reading accident. I hit a book mark and flew across the room.”
― Steven Wright

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Post by Artifacs » 12 Sep 2018, 03:46

I see. Great references.
I didn't know Norman Rockwell though. I checked some of his works and I liked them. His christmas paintings are awesome.

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Post by DATo » 12 Sep 2018, 16:11

Artifacs wrote:
12 Sep 2018, 03:46
I see. Great references.
I didn't know Norman Rockwell though. I checked some of his works and I liked them. His christmas paintings are awesome.
Each of Norman Rockwell's paintings tells a story through visual art. To see the one I referenced as one of the inspirations for my story Google "Norman Rockwell Girl in Principal's Office". I love that painting .... actually, I love all of Norman Rockwell's paintings.
“I just got out of the hospital. I was in a speed reading accident. I hit a book mark and flew across the room.”
― Steven Wright

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