Thursday, December 11, 2008

Great Hites 31

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Great Hites # 31
White By: Guy David
Jack and Stan By: Jeffrey Hite
  
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White
By Guy David

Hi everyone. I thought I'd try a little experiment this week. I've written my short story, then I run it through Google Translations, translating it from English to Hebrew, then again, translating it back from Hebrew into English. I'm going to read the two English versions back to back. I think you would find the translation rather poetic.


***


Story: Martin blinked at all the white space around him. The space stretched as far as he could see. He couldn't see any walls, only a white floor, continuing in every direction as far as his eyes could see. That was it. Nothing else. He started walking. His reason told him that if he would walk far enough, he would reach somewhere, learn what this is all about, but his reason also told him that he didn't know where he was, how he got there and how he was going to get out. The place was bathed in light. He wondered for a moment where the light was coming from. He could see himself clearly, and he could also see the floor just as clearly as he could see himself. There was nothing else to see. He also noticed that he wasn't casting a shadow, which surprised him, but his thoughts never lingered on this strange phenomena. He just continued walking. There was nothing else to do really.


Martin walked for what seamed like hours, days, even weeks. Everywhere was the same. Blank white floor and nothing else but himself. This place was huge and empty. The air was always at a comfort level, never too hot or too cold, but he had no food or water. He was getting tired, hungry and thirsty. Frustration overcame him. He kept going. He just had to get out of there. He had to survive. He walked and walked until he couldn't walk anymore, then he fell. Fatigue overcame him, then he slept. He slept for what seamed like an eternity, then he awoke. He was in a small blue room. He had no idea how he got there.


***


Translation: Martin blinked everywhere around him white. On the tense area as far as he could see. He could not see all the walls, the floor only in white, continues in every direction as far as I could see his eyes. That was it. Nothing else. He started to walk. The reason of his told him that if he had to go far enough, he had to get somewhere, learn what this whole thing, but also said his reason that he did not know where he was, how he got there and how he was going to come down. The place was bathed in light. He wonders for a moment that the light was coming. He can clearly see himself, and he can also see the floor as clearly as he could see himself. Was to see anything else. He also noticed that he was not a shadow, which surprised him, but not his thoughts lingered on this strange phenomena. He just kept walking. Would do anything else really.


Martin walked on what seamed like hours, days or even weeks. Everywhere was the same thing. Rick white floor and nothing else but himself. It was a big empty place. The air was always comfortable at any level, never too hot or too cold, but he had no food or water. He was getting tired, hungry and thirsty. Frustration overcame him. He kept going. He just had to get out of there. He had to survive. He walked and walked until he could not go any further, then he fell. Fatigue overcame him, so he was sleeping. He sleeps on what seamed like eternity, and then he woke up. He was a little blue. He has no idea how he got there.

*******


Jack and Stan
By Jeffrey Hite

Jack loved to mow his lawn, as a guy, it was his thing. He would spend every Saturday morning preparing the lawnmower; filling it with gas, checking the oil, the belts and washing it off. Then after a light lunch he would take his cooler bottle of lemon-aid, made with real lemons of course, and start the lawn.
It was more than something that had to be done, because the grass was long, it was something he needed to do make this world make sense. The hum of the tractor motor, smooth and level, the perfect lines going across his lawn, even the idea that all the grass was going to be one length, just made him happy.
He had made five perfect rows, across his lawn when he spotted Stan with his grilling tools under one arm and a plate full of steaks in the other. This did not bode well. He wanted the afternoon to himself, and not to have to content with his neighbors halfhearted attempts at grilling. Like mowing, grilling was an art. It took time to do. You had to lay everything out and make sure that all of it was the way that it should be. You had to use the right kind of charcoal for the right kind of meat. He looked and Stan had a bag of generic flaming match. That stuff could barely be called charcoal.
Jack made the sixth turn and tried not to think about Stan. He would have to empty the collector bag in two more passes, with any luck Stan would be inside looking for one of his miss placed, grilling tools. He let himself become absorbed in the wonderful sounds of the blades, spinning in their nearly perfect arcs, hundreds of times a minute. Pass number seven and eight were nearly perfect, with no distractions.
As he neared the end of pass eight he looked around, no Stan, he must be inside. This was going to work out just the way he had hoped. Shutting the mower down, he hopped off and moved to the back to begin to disconnect the collector bag. He had bought this mower because the bag size was perfect. For most of the year eight passes would fill it and it left him within five feet of the compost heap, only near the end of July and the beginning of August, when the grass grew at a much faster rate did that ever change, then he could only get six passes before it needed to be emptied. Six passes was nearly as perfect as eight since it left him at this end of the yard and was only a few feet further away.
"Hey Jack," Stan said interrupting his thoughts. Maybe if he didn't respond Stan would just go back to burning those perfectly good cuts of meat. "Hey your lawn looks really good this year."
"Thank you." It was the least he could say considering Stan's looked awful. He had opted against the bagging mower saying it cost too much and had just replaced the blades with a set of quote, mulching blades. It made no difference, they still left clippings all over his yard that ruined the symmetry that came from the mowing in the first place.
"You know I was watching this program on the discovery channel a little while ago, it was amazing," Stan continued unhindered. "It was all about how small we all really are."
"Really." Jack connected the bags to the mower and was about to start the engine when Stan continued.
"Yeah, did you know that it is fifty one miles just to get to the official edge of space? That is just over twice as far as we drive to get to Martha's mother's house, but straight up," He gestured with his hand nearly dropping the season salt he had brough out with him. "And that is just the beginning, it is 238,857 miles to the moon. My corrolla has about 215,000 miles on it but, that took me nearly ten years."
Jack rolled his eyes and reached for the ignition.
"But wait, it gets better. From here to the sun is about 92,955,820 miles. That is so far that they don't even really bother with miles anymore. They called it an astronomical unit. Isn't that wild? Do far to be measured in miles."
"Yeah wild." He leaned forward again.
"Yeah it blows my mind, but that is just the beginning. The nearest planets is mars right, and it is 1.5 A.U. from the Sun, that is what they call an astronomical unit. That means they Mars is half an A.U. away from us. And we are going to send people there some day. And still that is just the beginning. The distance to Pluto is about 38 A.U.. Thirty eight, can you imagine. And If you start looking at how far it is to the stars, they don't even bother with A.U.'s any more. They are too small. That is just amazing, and A.U. too small. They use a light year. Now a light year does not really have anything to do with time, it is how far light can travel in a year, so I guess it really does have something to do with time but. Anyway if we look at the nearest star Proxima Centauri, it is 4.22 light years away. That means it would take the light from that star over four years just to get to us.
"It bogges the mind."
"Our fastest ships would take over a hundred years just to get there. That is just completely wild. And there is more."
"More oh, do tell."
"Yeah, Proxima Centauri is the closest star to us. That is one star in Trillions. Our Galaxy, the Milky Way, is 100,000 light years across. You talk about how long it takes you to mow your lawn, but can you imagine how long it would take to go across the galaxy, if it take light 100,000 years?"
"I can't"
"It just boggles the mind. I mean I always knew space was big, I mean really big. But, I didn't ever really have a grasp on it. They showed these pictures of the Earth, the whole Earth, and lined it up agaist other planets and then stars and then bigger stars and then biggers stars. By the time they were done you could not even see th Earth, Heck you could not enve see our sun. And that was just stars, that was not the whole inky blackness of space. So space is big, really really big!"
"Yeah, well if space is so darn big, how come all the weirdos live within three blocks of me." Jack said, as he leaned over and started the mower again.

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1 comments:

Peter said...

Great story.

There were these two hunters....