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A hint of lemon » Das Blog, das Ich nicht lese

August 14, 2006

Interlude: A handwritten note fluttered slightly on Ray's desk

A handwritten note fluttered slightly on Ray's desk like a forgotten candy wrapper stuck to a train car window.

Don P. Tannhauser pulled the note out from under a large, string–bound file on Ray Delaney's desk and held it up to the light streaming through the broken glass of Ray's office door.

When he was done reading, his hands fell listlessly to his sides, as though he'd suddenly realised that maybe he wasn't the only cat in this city for whom curisioty may prove fatal.

He headed out, tugging his radio from his inside pocket as the door slammed on another of Ray's crazy schemes, leaving the note lying on Candy's peculiarly empty office desk.

Don, it read. No time to explain. Going to the source. Flight leaves in 2 hours. You can reach me here May be worse than we could have imagined.

Will be in touch... Ray


August 13, 2006

Chapter IV⅔: On baited hook with bated breath, our hero rushes to his death

Who was the Blog? Why was she murdered? Where did the mysterious Arian figure come from? And can Ray Delaney find him and prevent him from killing again?

To find out the answers to the mysterious, enigmatic, and downright questionable Delaney & The Death of the Blog, stay right where you are.

As Ray travels to the homeland of the mysterious stranger, so Das Blog, das Ich nicht lese travels with him like a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a trenchcoat…

Stay tuned to this space for an update on our friend in the fedora.


May 26, 2006

Chapter IV: The cold morning light shook the dust up and through the air

The cold morning light shook the dust up and through the air. Ray watched it rising with sleep–deprived eyes, the glint of light which fell on each particle mirrored in the neon reflection behind each eyelid as he drifted in and out of the room.

The rise and fall. He felt as though his life was slowly being evaporated from around him, leaving his motionless figure lying alone on the now–transparent bed frame; but there was something moving in the corner of his vision, barely perceptible as it reconstructed itself from the dusty surroundings, gaining shape and form as it came closer to him.

He tried to move his head, his arms, anything, but he found himself struggling to even lift his thoughts from the pillow which he could now only feel beneath him, receptive to every cranial curve but simultaneously dragging his thoughts down with it. He tried to talk, but he could only force a guttural, deathly gurgle from the pit of his stomach.

In his peripheral vision, he could see waves of light ebbing and flowing, creating a dark reflection of something barely visible to the human eye. He tried to lift himself up once more, and found that he could push against the strain which seemed to be holding him down, tying him to the non–existent bed. The swirl of dust was nearly fully formed, and Ray was more than a little convinced that he knew exactly what he was going to see stood before him, when–...

Bzzng... Ray Delaney sat straight upright, squinting as the sunlight burned the mark of the world even further into his retinas. The phone continued to ring with no consideration for the throbbing which seemed, once again, to be coming direct from his mind to his forehead. He ran a hand through his hair, settling on his temples to try and ease the pain.

"Ray", the phone said, in a rather competent imitation of Don Tannhauser, "you need to get down to the office as soon as possible. I came to drop off the lab reports on Billy, but Candy wasn't in yet. I was about to head back to the station when I noticed your office door was open, and so I thought I'd check it out for myself. Well, I know how secure you like to keep everything…shit, Ray…I don't know who got in here, but you might wanna get in touch with your insurance people."

Ray pushed the now–splintered door to his office and surveyed the scene. The glass pane on the outside was reduced to just four of the usual letters, reading: 'MOND' instead of 'Raymond Delaney', and for some reason that made him uncomfortable. He hadn't been prepared for such utter destruction, despite Don's rather dramatic phone call that morning. But now he saw an all–too–familiar sight, and he had to choke down the feeling that if he turned to look in the corner he would see a red–streaked wall with Billy lying at its base, covered in his own and another's blood.

"The only thing that made it through the night," said Don, proffering the leather–bound book from yesterday, as his radio staticked into life. He took it, and, trying to ignore the stain on the inside cover, he flicked through to the page that he and the detective had been looking at less than twenty–four hours ago. Ray was more than a little convinced that he knew exactly what he was going to see as he turned to the page in question. The cloaked figure was somehow faded, less distinct than before; but by his side, on the multi–linked chain, was a huge Alsatian, muzzle wet with brightly–gleaming scarlet dew, grinning like a diceman in a casino.

"Raymond," Don said. He only called him 'Raymond' when things were getting serious. "That was the County General. Apparently there was some kind of attack at the Soosman household last night. Candy’s mother was taken in with severe injuries." Ray's temples throbbed.


February 23, 2006

Chapter III: A small but perfectly curling twist of smoke

A small but perfectly curling twist of smoke drifted out of Ray's office as he rushed past Candy, who was chewing while wrapping something in neon red gift paper. He ignored her cursory greeting and headed toward the door, pulling it open to reveal the ample frame of Detective Donald P. Tannhauser.

“Don.”

“Ray,” came the equally laconic reply. Both men used their words as sparingly as they used their wallets. It came with the territory. “I came over as soon as you called me. The boys finished clearing up the mess downtown a couple hours ago, and I wanted you to take a look at something they found down there.” With that, Don pointed to something on Ray’s desk. Ray didn’t exactly spend much time pushing paper, so he could hardly miss the two inch-thick, brown, leather-bound book sitting in the middle of the otherwise bare desktop.

“Well Don…what’s the deal?” he asked. “You finally finished that novel you were always talking about?”

Don didn’t even crack a smile. He just pointed at the thing, saying, “take a look inside.” Ray opened it, and was, at first, taken aback by the smear of red on the inside of the cover. “We found it on the floor right next to Billy,” said Don. Ray flipped the pages till he came across something. There it was: a picture, in faded acrylic paint, somewhere around the middle of the bulky volume, and it was glaring right out at Ray with dark, almost pitch black eyes.

It was the figure of a man, but barely recognisable as such, since it was clothed in a vast, swirling cloak, leaving only the face wholly visible. In his right hand he held a large staff made from some sturdy looking wood, and from his left dangled a thick chain. The chain seemed to stop all of a sudden in the middle of an empty space off to the figure’s side, as though the picture were somehow incomplete. “And who the hell are you?” Ray muttered under his breath.

He put the book in one of his desk drawers and shut it carefully. It was the only lead he had until Don could get back to him about the coroner’s report on Billy.


Later that evening when the soft rain had begun to melt the snow, Ray stepped out of his office and locked the door. He had let Candy go home early since it was her mother’s fiftieth birthday. Though it was probably the least of his problems right now, Ray didn’t want to have Mrs Soosman dropping by to meet Candy at the end of the day because her ‘peculiar’ boss wouldn’t let her out early at least once this month.

As Ray left the building, however, there were two things he failed to notice. One was the rather mangy looking animal that had been waiting in the shadows of a side alley, and was now heading toward the steps leading up to the door of the building. The other was the steadily increasing rattling coming from inside. A rattling which originated in the top right hand drawer of Ray’s desk.


February 12, 2006

Chapter II: Overnight the rain had turned

Overnight the rain had turned, and in the brightness of the morning the snow covered most of the stony Sunday sidewalks.

The Venetian blinds cast a strange yet somehow comforting light into Ray's office. The familiar surroundings were all that kept his mind from the events of the previous night: the cracked glass pane of his office door, its letters oddly inverted from the inside; and the tapping of Candy's typewriter keys, as though a small community of crickets had set up shop in the next room.

What did all of this mean, he wondered. If his wife had still been alive, she would have told him to stop making the face he was now making. But 25 years of cases had clearly furrowed their way onto Ray's face. But this business with the Blog. Who would have killed her? And why? She never did anything to anyone. And who the hell was this 'Aryan guy' that Billy had told him about? He would probably never know, since Billy had seemingly disappeared off the face of the Earth. Or at least the face of the local petty crime rings.

"Mr Delany?"

"Wh–" he stuttered back into the room. Candy was standing in the doorway, half of her figure showing around the side of the door, the print of her dress as bright as usual.

"We got a call from some guy asking for you last night while you were out," she said, taking the half–chewed piece of gum out of her mouth and carefully dropping it into Ray's trash can, which stood empty – but for the remnants of Candy's gum–based diet – next to the door.

"And?" Candy looked bemused for a moment and then her face brightened into a lipstick–red smile once again.

"Oh, right. Yeah. The guy said his name was…" she hesitated, her face wrinkling a little. "Damnit! I don't remember! But he sounded like he was from out of town. Anyway, just thought you should know. He left this address…somewhere downtown I think," she said, handing him a handwritten note.


The suspension on Ray's car rattled as he turned onto the street in question. A dog was barking non–stop somewhere, and Ray cursed the final whisky he'd had last night after meeting Billy. His head was like a construction site.

Heading toward number 1871, he realised that the barking was coming from inside. The door was cracked top to bottom, the paintwork peeling and the lock almost non–existent. Pushing it inward, Ray almost lost his footing when a huge Alsatian bounded out and past him, howling like a smack addict's withdrawal. Carefully stepping in, Ray had to kick broken wood, bags of illicit substances and even a handgun out of his way. Then he saw it.

Across the room, not much more than a stomach–sickening red streak leaning against the wall, was Billy. Ray was suddenly glad that he'd thrown up last night after that final whisky.


January 14, 2006

Chapter I: It was a dank, dark Saturday evening

It was a dank, dark Saturday evening, the rain scratching at the car window like a cat stuck inside a trash-can.

Billy had called me out to tell me something, but I still didn't know what the deal was. For all the trouble he'd gone to, I figured I oughta bring him a little something, so I had a wad of greenbacks as thick as a simile's better half stuck in my inside pocket…

Billy was behind Al's Place. I guessed by the look in his eyes that he'd had a few shots, but it hadn't quite gotten rid of the nasty taste in his mouth. I guess nothing ever would. If I knew what he knew right then, I'd be pretty damn shaky too.

"What is it?" I asked, scowling under the rain-filled brim of my fedora whilst Billy snuck a furtive glance at the back door of Al's.

"I-It's…" he stuttered.

"C'mon, Billy…" I growled, pulling out the notes and beginning to count some out.

"No, no! I don't want your money, please!" he whined. Billy refusing a hundred bucks was like a coke addict refusing a Hollywood party. I grabbed his shirt collar, dragging him toward me through a pool of stagnant water. He began to talk.

"They say it was some European guy with a weird accent…blond, blue eyes, had the whole Aryan thing going on, you know?" Billy paused.
"He killed her, Ray…."

"Who?"

"The blog, Ray. The one we never read….we never saw it coming. And now…." I let him go, and he fell backwards, looking off to one side.
"And now she ain't never coming back…


December 15, 2005

A Christmas List…

...is what I just wrote a moment ago. But then, being the computer genius that I am, I accidentally pressed the 'close window' key. If you could see me, you would back away from the twitching enraged Dan slowly so as not to disturb him.

So all I have to say instead is:

THE SWEENEY, THE SWEENEY, der der-da der der, der-da-der-da...

Oh look, a pink monkeybird…


November 26, 2005

Guernsey rules….

Writing about web page http://scottm1984.blogspot.com/

Guernsey now has a world champion.

Move over Matt Le Tissier (or at least stop bumming around Southampton being a drunken retired footballer), because apparently Andy Priaulx is World Touring Car Champion!

Now, I don't even really care about motor racing in any format, but, you know, he's from Guernsey.
When the best we have to offer up to now is Le Tissier and being mistaken for the locale of Bergerac, a world champion is something worth writing a pointless blog entry about. See?


November 20, 2005

Note to self

Never look at your eyeballs for too long in a mirror.

It's just fucking scary.


November 09, 2005

Fire Alarm: 6, Work Done: 0, Lie–in: no chance

Bad.

November 06, 2005

Word up, you fool

Oh dear

Not only does Microsoft Word like to 'correct' my spellings, so that I will recognize that it ought to be everyone's favorite word processing software, but it is now also under the false impression that the word "people" can only be used as a (now accepted, but originally wrong) plural of the word "person".

Thus trying to make my translated sentence – The Academy must show its solidarity with a people which has served its own nation just as well as our own people has served the Federal Republic of Germany – appear false.

No thanks, Bill. Nice try, but I can speak the English myself.


October 30, 2005

England's Cultural Heritage

Chavtastic


Gain an hour, lose your patience

Early this morning the clocks went back an hour. This is a good thing, in that we gain an hour's sleep.

This is also a bad thing, because it means that, instead of simply setting the fire alarm off at 7 on a Sunday morning, they end up setting it off at 6.

But it was ok, since they turned it off after about 15 seconds. Realising their mistake, at about (the new, all-improved) 7am, the fire alarm may be set off again (waking me and probably everyone else up after having got back to sleep), meaning another fun trip all the way to Lakeside with four hundred foreigners.

Seriously guys, £90 per week should not equate to five fire alarms per week. You're all bad, bad men.


October 27, 2005

I have nothing to say to these people

No, no, no. This is not funny anymore. It's 02.41 and I have to be in a seminar at 10.00.

Look, here's one workable definition: Read this if you are stupid

If you don't understand, then please leave this halls, or I will find you. You will suffer.


October 24, 2005

Encore une fois

Well, at least tonight's fire alarm was at 11pm instead of 1am…

A year abroad makes you love Johnny Foreigner

No more Monday. Classes are cancelled.

Instead, Ladies & Gentlemen, we shall go in search of the dirty, loathsome, mentally deficient, uncivilised, non-fluent English-speaking little shit who managed to set off the Heroinbank (yes, that's not a typo) fire alarms at 1am on a Sunday evening. When it was pouring with rain. Meaning I had to walk across the bridge and stand outside Lakeside for 10 mins getting wet and cold, whilst waking up from my then-drowsy state and being assailed by every conceivable form of foreign language known to man.

So, my friends, tomorrow is the day we spend hunting down the culprit and depriving him of his front teeth, whilst he cries out in Chinese/Japanese/Greek/Korean/Gibberish. But, you know, probably Chinese.

Maybe if multi-cultural Warwck decided that the concept of integrated Warwick was more appealing, they might decide that putting all of their ten-grand-a-year, no-need-to-give-other-people-room-on-the-pavement, international, what's-a-smoke-alarm?, I'm-international-therefore-I-don't-need-good-manners students in the same, very expensive halls wasn't an idea conducive to such an ethos.

Hang on a minute…Maybe we need a new science building? Yeah, just stick 'em all down there next to the lake


October 15, 2005

The Blog I'm Not Reading Is Better Than TV

Today has been a quite successful day. It's been relatively warm and sunny, and I've managed to read Freud's "Das Unheimliche" and ETA Hoffman's "Der Sand-Mann". The problem is, two questions still worry me:

1. Why do I live so fucking far away from everything?

and:

2. Why is heron shit green?

These are the nightmare existential conundra that perplex my brain.


September 21, 2005

Respect your elders, goshtarnit…

I feel old these days. You go to the pub with a few friends, and realise that all the university returnees are diddy first (or even ickle second) years, and you feel old. All this in spite of the fact that I have generally been the youngest person in most groups I have spent a lot of time with this year. (Though that is mainly because I happen to have a late-ish birthday, coupled with the fact that Germans make an attempt at [and usually succeed at] remaining students until they are at least in their late 20s, and more often than not, well into their 30s.)

But enough parentheses. The problem, of course, is that I don't actually feel that I am as old as I am, but then in contrast, I feel as though the remainder of my university career is a coda, simply there to allow me to complete my degree with at least a 2,1. And in certain respects, that's all that a final year at university is. So, it's back to work (scary, scary work) after a year of being a bum, living in another country under the semblance of improving my language skills, but really concerned with far different matters than conjugating German verbs. Not that 'different matters' are any less important, of course. You've got to have some different matters, or else it all gets a bit dull.

So, I'm an ickle fourth year, but still an undergraduate…Just give me a degree already.


August 23, 2005

Part One

It may be a truism, but the fact remains that it’s very likely that whatever you have to say for yourself has already been said countless times before, and very probably in rather more eloquent and precise terms than those which you find yourself using. This may cause endless misgivings about expressing anything, since the futility of attempting to formulate and, subsequently, to coherently present those thoughts in a fashion both precise and comprehensible, is a rather overwhelming one. Hence most kinds of writing, such as one now finds on blogs or public forums for the imparting of the personal (momentary consideration of that phrase aside), are arbitrary, rather rambling and of no particular consequence. Of course, this is no personal (or public) attack on any one person, or indeed any particular collection of persons – we are all in the same, albeit somewhat leak-springing, boat. But then, if this were published in some such form, its lack of bright, colourful, shiny, let’s-get-distracted-together simplicity would probably mean that most potential readers would not get past, well, this sentence at most.

Nevertheless people continue to feel the need to write. “I see nothing to be gained by any explanation/ There are no words that need to be said,” sings Bob Dylan. Well perhaps he’s right, but it seems that the rock legend, who is (even in the opinion of a fan such as myself) now little more than a living death rattle warmed up, would not be able to let us in on that fact if he were not a rock legend who used to be warm enough to tell us all we needed to know already in his songs. Those of us who are unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately) not Bob Dylan may feel that our need for explanation is never quite satisfied or even lessened enough allow us to feel the same way, and the fact that Dylan tells us verbally that there are “no words that need to be said” obviously points to the fact that he is not completely at one with the notion itself. So, with the advent of blogs and similar free methods of publishing one’s own thoughts and ideas (often regardless of the content of said thoughts and ideas), the need to write continues.

“Sorry,” he said, “I got a bit distracted there.”

His companion turned around. “What?”

“Never mind,” he assured him.


July 23, 2005

err…Hi, my name's Dan…

Writing about web page http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0340818867/qid=1122112107/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_11_1/202-5277313-1366244

"In fact, the only rule one can identify with any certainty in this confusion over introductions and greetings is that, to be impeccably English, one must perform these rituals badly. One must appear self-conscious, ill-at-ease, stiff, awkward and, above all, embarassed. Smoothness, glibness and confidence are inappropriate and un-English. Hesitation, dithering and ineptness are, surprising as it may seem, correct behaviour.

Introductions should be performed as hurriedly as possible, but also with maximum inefficiency. If disclosed at all, names must be mumbled; hands should be tentatively half-proffered and then withdrawn; the approved greeting is something like 'Er, how, um, plstm-, er, hello?'.

If you are socially skilled, or come from a country where these matters are handled in a more reasonable, straightforward manner (such as anywhere else on this planet), you may need a bit of practice to achieve the required degree of embarassed, stilted incompetence