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1: Jack Baby [Oct. 29th, 2007|02:37 pm]
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I dipped the old jar down into the creeping slurry and scooped a pint of shit-water out of the Thames, down where the sewers meet the river. It's come to this, I said to no-one: making jenkem rather than seeing the Jack Baby.

Seal up the jar, watch it ferment for long sleepless days, and then inhale the gas off the top. Jenkem: ghetto drugs. An hour of laying like a corpse and seeing dead things instead of the orgasm-jerking and spacewalk day of a Jack high. But I couldn't afford Jack, and I didn't want to think about the Jack Baby.

Jack was a bastard brew of neurotransmitters and genetic plug-ins, the black market product of universities that wanted to keep the power on. Addictive and deep-tissue-persistent enough that, like crack before it, Jack babies were born. But they weren't just thin and sickly. Jack was bound into their genetic structure. Narcotophores pulsed under their grey skins, tiny little Jack labs.

The things we choose to care about. Not getting clean, but huffing shit-gas instead of seeing her.

Squatting under the jagged stump of the bridge, I twisted the jar shut, willing the muck inside to do its stinking magic. Dreading the sleepless days of waiting, where I knew I'd see nothing but my grown-up Jack Baby, letting men make her sweat so they could lick the Jack from her pores.

The things we choose to care about: I could live with her being a whore, but I couldn't stand her being someone else's fix.




33degrees
fastfictions
do not post your fiction in comments
© warren ellis 2007
33D01

music: The4am 05
book: crooked little vein
be gentle: i'm out of practise!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: djluminal
2007-10-29 02:43 pm (UTC)

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That was brilliant, thanks for posting. Good to see you on here again!
From: ex_eridan
2007-10-29 02:48 pm (UTC)

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good god, man.

Your fictions scare me because they're JUST that close to truth.
[User Picture]From: stylishbastard
2007-10-29 02:59 pm (UTC)

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In what way?
From: ex_eridan
2007-10-29 03:03 pm (UTC)

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Well, given designer drugs, and the current state of gene therapy medicine, this is a future that COULD happen, 15, 20, 30 years from now.
[User Picture]From: planetx
2007-10-29 02:48 pm (UTC)

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Out of practice, my patoooie, sir! You're sharp as ever.

Does this mean Falconer shall be returning?
[User Picture]From: fatfred
2007-10-29 02:51 pm (UTC)

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Mmmmm.
Yummy!
From: oml404
2007-10-29 02:52 pm (UTC)

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That's a nice little story. I'm always impressed by nano-tales, there's something pure and direct about fiction that short.
[User Picture]From: lost_in_my_room
2007-10-29 02:58 pm (UTC)

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Reading Doktor Sleepless is the only thing that kept me from punching my mother-in-law this weekend

so thank you
[User Picture]From: ydna
2007-10-29 02:59 pm (UTC)

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Thank you thank you thank you thank you!
[User Picture]From: stylishbastard
2007-10-29 03:01 pm (UTC)

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I liked it when you did this first time round with Lazarus Churchyard!

I wonder who would win in a fight between Doctor Sleepless and Doktor Sleepless.
[User Picture]From: lunar_symphony
2007-10-29 03:11 pm (UTC)

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Impressive, sir! Your dark, brutal style is inspiring as always. This piece is particularly good as the character is as far fetched as he (or she) is believable.

Keep up the good work,
~Tim
[User Picture]From: ysidro
2007-10-29 03:16 pm (UTC)

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You scare me.

In a very good way.
[User Picture]From: graymalkan
2007-10-29 03:17 pm (UTC)

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Shakespeare gots to get paid, son :)
[User Picture]From: margoeve
2007-10-29 04:00 pm (UTC)

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Maybe he should write a story about a guy called "The Distractor" who goes around saying things like "Gold Plated Naked Midgets" in order to kill the erections of men everywhere.

Or would that be too much of art imitating life?
[User Picture]From: graymalkan
2007-10-29 04:17 pm (UTC)

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Fine next time I'll suck his dick and you can talk about the midgets and the "bad touch" Mister Rogers :)
[User Picture]From: margoeve
2007-10-29 04:37 pm (UTC)

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Apparently, you are too bald for his dick to enjoy. On the bright side, that saves your jaw. Besides, I'd ramble on about saline infusion enthusiasts instead, which oddly enough DIDN'T distract him at all. Go figure.

On the funny side, all I have to do is say "gold plated midgets" and he starts on a tourrete's like fit of shaking his head and cursing your name. It's an amusing Pavlovian response.

I really need to make an entry in my journal about that. At the very least, I found it amusing that Warren could ruin an orgasm using you as proxy. Though my man still blames you, I blame the mind that came up with "naked gold plated midgets" in the first place. *wink*
[User Picture]From: graymalkan
2007-10-29 05:05 pm (UTC)

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and honestly , you really can't go wrong after that, well you can but then you are in middle of the creamy noughaty goodness that is my imagination.
[User Picture]From: elkor
2007-10-29 04:40 pm (UTC)

Oh, hell no.

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At least, not until you grow hair.

I can't stand looking at my face when I cum, and I'd be afraid I'd see myself reflected in your dome.
[User Picture]From: graymalkan
2007-10-29 05:07 pm (UTC)

Re: Oh, hell no.

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all I'm hearing is excuses, do not be afraid of the baldy-love
From: petronivs
2007-10-30 09:10 pm (UTC)

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Maybe YOU should write that story.
[User Picture]From: happymrlocust
2007-10-29 03:18 pm (UTC)

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I cannot help but wonder how long before someone ignores the "do not post your fiction in comments" and the whole thing goes to crap... again.

Still.

The fastfiction must flow.
[User Picture]From: cuddlycthulhu
2007-10-29 03:22 pm (UTC)

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Welcome back, sir.
[User Picture]From: sandmistress
2007-10-29 03:30 pm (UTC)

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I love your disgusting brain.
[User Picture]From: blackwell
2007-10-29 03:32 pm (UTC)

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Fantastic.
[User Picture]From: cjtremlett
2007-10-29 03:34 pm (UTC)

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I needed that on a Monday morning while grading papers. Thank you, sir.

I read Doktor Sleepless #3 before bed last night. It did weird things to my dreams. They looked kind of like the cover. Black and white and complicated and vaguely Lovecraftian. There wasn't a plot, but I didn't miss it.
[User Picture]From: charlycrash
2007-10-29 03:39 pm (UTC)

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Cool. Reminds me of Bill Burroughs.
[User Picture]From: voided_space
2007-10-29 03:46 pm (UTC)

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Gentle? What would you do with gentle?

Might be the mom in me, but it makes me sad. Nice and evocative.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: margoeve
2007-10-29 04:10 pm (UTC)

You are in good company.

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I thought it was the narrator's own baby for a moment, or former lover.

As a teaser, it works. As a self contained story, it needs more.
[User Picture]From: margoeve
2007-10-29 04:07 pm (UTC)

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I don't know, it's missing something. I get that there is the drug Jack with the resultbeing Jack babies... and then there is the narrator who had a Jack baby of his/her own? Or was it that he/she dated a Jack Baby and got hooked? For the ramblings of a junky who'd be willing to scrape the Thames for hopes of a high from neuro-chemical spillage waste, it sounds disjointed and rambly enough.

But something is missing. Perhaps it's just my need for more to satisfy the curiosity of the questions this snippet brings up.
[User Picture]From: richenza
2007-10-29 05:03 pm (UTC)

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Creepy. I think I like it, but I've read it three times now and I'm still not sure. An intriguing concept...
[User Picture]From: card0
2007-10-29 05:33 pm (UTC)

ohthankfuck

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highlight of my day.
long and miserable day that it was, then I caught this on my vario waiting for the train. commuter poetry. cheers.
[User Picture]From: wyldkyss
2007-10-29 05:42 pm (UTC)

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This reminds me, I had a high school teacher that would always accuse the class of being a lot of crack babies...
[User Picture]From: jjgalahad
2007-10-29 05:59 pm (UTC)

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Thank you for this, sir. It's all sorts of lovely wrong.
[User Picture]From: connexion
2007-10-29 06:45 pm (UTC)

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Yowza, nice twisted reading to end the day! Thanks!
[User Picture]From: benchilada
2007-10-29 07:05 pm (UTC)

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Mind yourself; you're become tender and emotional in your horrifically crippling old age.
[User Picture]From: angeldye
2007-10-29 07:54 pm (UTC)

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BRAVO! FANTASTICO!
[User Picture]From: sxyblkmn
2007-10-29 08:18 pm (UTC)

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welcome back :)
[User Picture]From: izzy23
2007-10-29 08:43 pm (UTC)

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Now that's the stuff: a whole minutely detailed (to anybody with an imagination primed by decent SF) implied world plus at least one very complex and multi-layered relationship behind the shit-huffing, and a convincing voice and interesting poetic structure, too. Well done.
[User Picture]From: glaucorocco
2007-10-30 02:21 am (UTC)

Its an excellent day

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When we get nice fiction in livejournal. Thanks, Sir.
From: jnadiger
2007-10-30 02:43 am (UTC)

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I really like these microfictions. But they're so hard to write! And yet you make it look so easy.

I'm glad they're back, thank you.
[User Picture]From: davidwynne
2007-10-30 03:37 am (UTC)

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So glad you're doing these again you sick, sick man.

Are there any plans to publish a print collection of your short shorts? (Was there one and I missed it?)
[User Picture]From: gdwessel
2007-10-30 05:46 am (UTC)

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Well goddamn.
[User Picture]From: random_tangent
2007-11-06 10:04 am (UTC)

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Why in the name of all that is good and shiny is jenkem real?
[User Picture]From: izzy23
2007-11-07 05:45 pm (UTC)

On behalf of the somewhat surreal state of Florida

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I apologize for Collier County's amazing gullibility.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/1105072jenkem1.html

But at least somebody down there's reading your journal.
[User Picture]From: izzy23
2007-11-07 05:50 pm (UTC)

Re: On behalf of the somewhat surreal state of Florida

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Wow, I'm a dork--on reading the linked article more closely, it's obvious I'm getting the proper order of things all mixed up. Must have been that youtube post from my future self . . .

So what on earth led you to be reading alerts from the Collier County Sheriff's Department back in September?
[User Picture]From: dreams_ofcali
2007-11-13 10:16 pm (UTC)

Re: On behalf of the somewhat surreal state of Florida

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I was going to post this link: Jenkem Debunked @ Snopes and ask Senor Ellis if he got his idea from this.
[User Picture]From: izzy23
2007-11-13 11:03 pm (UTC)

Re: On behalf of the somewhat surreal state of Florida

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Well, the Jenkem concept works for SF, because you'd presume that the "Jack" that's central to the story would also be excreted by the Jack Babies (and maybe regular old addicts) and potentially be available in some form from the resulting sewage.

In current real life, though, the only things you'd get off the stuff would be methane, which can't get you high or really do anything interesting to your brain beyond potentially exploding or suffocating it, and hydrogen sulfide, which also doesn't get you high and is very unpleasant before it kills you: http://dhfs.wisconsin.gov/eh/Air/fs/SewerGas.htm

Skipping the sewage and just using whatever container you were planning to collect it in to asphyxiate yourself would be just as effective, much less smelly, and would totally cut out the wait.

I can't believe I've put that much thought into this topic.

Edited at 2007-11-13 11:11 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: warren_ellis
2007-11-13 11:15 pm (UTC)

Re: On behalf of the somewhat surreal state of Florida

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Be advised, all: the Florida jenkem warning was based on false data, yes. Jenkem use in Zambia and other places, however, has been documented since 1995, and is sadly quite real.