Excerpt from Between The Covers
The collection, Between the Covers, is the work of the Radnor Writers Group, of which I have been a member of since 2001. The collection contains short stories, essays, poems, and excerpts of longer works. Each writer provides an individual voice, a unique style, and a distinct experience of if life. My contribution consists of four short stories — Masks, Otis and Elena, Robot Love, and Tales of the Gods.
A patient for the first time in his life, Dr. Andrew W. Stephenson, III, sixty-three years old, sat in Dr.Tony Bancroft's office after the colonoscopy that had been done three days before. The biopsy taken from the lesion in his transverse colon had revealed adenocarcinoma. Bancroft, the top oncologist at Boyleston University Hospital, lowered his eyes and pretended to look at the chart on his desk. He knew precisely what he needed to say, but he hesitated. Finally, in an abrupt fashion that embarrassed him, he said "Obviously, you need surgery."
Otis and Elena
"But soon, too soon the lover turned his eyes,
Again she falls, again she dies, she dies!"
—Ode for St. Cecelia's Day
Alexander Pope (1713)
My name is Otis Kephalas, and my beloved's name was Elena Apostoliides. I guess I'm responsible. I never wanted it to turn out like this, honest. I knew better. Believe me. But sometimes there's just no control. In telling you my tale, you must understand I'm a jazz musician. But I often dream that long ago in a different life, like this one yet so different, I played more serious music.
News Item: The Boston Herald, April 5th, 2015
How do people act when brought face-to-face with intelligent robots for the first time? It's a question that has fascinated Alberta Dill for almost a decade. She's not an anthropologist, not a scientist in the usual sense. She is an artist with a Ph.D. and a passion for electronics. . . . Dill joined forces with robotic scientists at the Kennedy Institute to design an exhibition composed of a pair of robots disguised as wheelchairs, who could communicate through their movements and written text. The exhibit has thrilled and engrossed people around the world and has given researchers important data on the relationship between robots and humans.
Tales of the Gods
"I have seen the dark universe yawning
Where the black planets roll without aim
Where they roll in their horror unheeded
Without knowledge or lustre or name."
—H.P. Lovecraft( The Haunter in the Dark)
1. The Prison of the Unseeing Eyes
She sat in the room, alone, eyes closed, no windows save the panoramic window of her mind.
Days, months, years, millennia, eons had passed since the time she last saw the sun. She felt no warmth. The cold and icy world she inhabited within the crypt knew nothing of the world outside. Only her mind, her memories, took her across time and space to feel the touch of a breeze, a hand, a smile.
She had been imprisoned by the Great Cthulhu, Lord of the Underground, in the place where he and the immortals lay in wait, to regain the Earth, their province long before Man.