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Better Morphosis - Brian W. Aldiss

Better Morphosis - Brian W. Aldiss

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Published by Manojlovicks
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Published by: Manojlovicks on Aug 11, 2014
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{\rtf1{\info{\title Better Morphosis}{\author Brian W. Aldiss}}\ansi\ansicpg1252\deff0\deflang1033{\fonttbl{\f0\froman\fprq2\fcharset128 Times New Roman;}{\f1\froman\fprq2\fcharset128 Times New Roman;}{\f2\fswiss\fprq2\fcharset128 Arial;}{\f3\fnil\fprq2\fcharset128 Arial;}{\f4\fnil\fprq2\fcharset128 MS Mincho;}{\f5\fnil\fprq2\fcharset128 Tahoma;}{\f6\fnil\fprq0\fcharset128 Tahoma;}}{\stylesheet{\ql \li0\ri0\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \af25\afs24\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \fs24\lang1033\langfe255\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \snext0 Normal;}{\s1\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel0\rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs32\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs32\lang1033\langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \snext16 \slink21 heading 1;}{\s2\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel1\rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\ai\af0\afs28\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\i\fs28\lang1033\langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \snext16 \slink22 heading 2;}{\s3\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel2\rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs28\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs28\lang1033\langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \snext16 \slink23 heading 3;}{\s4\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel3\rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\ai\af0\afs23\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0\b\i\fs23\lang1033\langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \snext16 \slink24 heading 4;}{\s5\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel4\rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs23\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs23\lang1033\langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \snext16 \slink25 heading 5;}{\s6\ql \li0\ri0\sb240\sa120\keepn\nowidctlpar\wrapdefault\faauto\outlinelevel5\rin0\lin0\itap0 \rtlch\fcs1 \ab\af0\afs21\alang1033 \ltrch\fcs0 \b\fs21\lang1033\langfe255\loch\f1\hich\af1\dbch\af26\cgrid\langnp1033\langfenp255 \sbasedon15 \snext16 \slink26 heading 6;}} {\bBETTER MORPHOSIS}{ {\bBy Brian Aldiss}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Look, I\u8217?ll put it to you this way, in the hope you\u8217?ll understand. Literature\u8217?s OK, but what really grabs me is {\iscuttling, } right? Like, I mean, scuttling \u8212? here and there, anywhere I feel like. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Which is to say that directions are better than sentences. Any direction better than any sentence. Scuttle scuttle bliss. Bliss. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Me and all my friends had been having this really great scuttle. OK? A megascuttle, all round this apartment building in Prague. A moment\u8217?s inattention and what happens? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \u8212?Jesus, I wake up and find myself transformed. Like lying in a BED, transformed into\u8212?Look, I have to tell you. Into this huge pale human thing. Well\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \u8212? shit, into Franz Kafka. KAFKA. (That\u8217?s his name. They have NAMES.)\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Where\u8217?s everyone gone? Nowhere. I don\u8217?t know. I don\u8217?t know, I never had a single thought before. Suddenly I\u8217?m Franz Kafka, lying there in that bed and thinking fit to bust. THINKING. Yuk .. . \par\pard\plain\hyphpar
}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ All I\u8217?m thinking is just awful. I mean, I\u8217?m a fan of oily rags and maybe mildew. A bit of damp in a bad corner and I\u8217?m happy. Anything. Grease, know what I mean? But not for fuck\u8217?s sake {\ithinking. }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Honest, I didn\u8217?t even know thinking had been invented. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But there I was, and thinking \u8212? I may as well say it, thinking bad thoughts about my father. How he was so oppressive, how he was so strong and hairy and his voice was so loud and when he washed of a morning he made splashes in the wash-basin and blew his nose into the water, both nostrils at once into the soapy water and ... \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Well, look, Christ, never mind thinking, like the whole concept of FATHER\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ was alien. Come on, down there in the basement, we just spawned, remember. We just were. One moment, nothing. Eggs. Next moment, up and running. Dozens of us, {\iscuttling. } You know? Scuttling, having real fun, mobile as all get-out. Little legs going like the clappers. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ So I felt down the bed. TWO LEGS. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Jesus. What a nightmare! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Just TWO LEGS. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Where had all the others gone? Pity\u8217?s sake, what the hell was I supposed to do with {\itwo legs? } You think you can get a good scuttle going with two legs? Forget it! \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Two legs. I can\u8217?t get over it. Between the legs some hair of a sort and this stupid flabby thing. I feel it with my mandibles \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Mandibles!\u8212?Yow, what have the bastards done to me? I have lost my shagging mandibles. No mandibles. Just these feeble hand things, all pale and pulpy and \u8212?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \u8212? and I pull at it and it\u8212?sort of gets stiff\u8212?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \u8212? come on, I must be off my tiny thorax \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \u8212? it gives out with some mess that I might normally eat but now it sort of blows away and there\u8217?s a whole muddle of emotion in my... MIND I cannot cope with. Look, reproduction should not require such an upheaval. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ But almost immediately Kafka \u8212? me, dammit \u8212? begins {\ithinking } again, and I get out of bed. No kidding. I. Get. Out. Of. BED. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ The horror of it! Those two awful long white legs, not neat at all, covered with a layer of flesh ... I move them and instead of having a good scuttle across the floor, I stand up on these legs in quite the wrong attitude. And I walk, balancing on these two stilts, high above the floor. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Frightened? Sonny, I was scared out of my wits. Scared shitless, and that\u8217
?s the truth. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ There\u8217?s a chest across the room, of the sort I used to scuttle under. Instead, I pick up the clock on it and I see it is half-past six. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ You follow me? I\u8217?m reading a clock and I\u8217?m thinking it\u8217?s time to be going to work. Me, who never read a clock or went to work in my life. Look, I\u8217?ve spent days in basements and places like that, but for fun. FUN. Work? I\u8217?d never heard of work till that moment, and there I was thinking of myself dressed in trousers and sitting at a desk with a ledger. Sitting. Christ, I ask myself in a panic, how the shagging hell do you SIT? But somehow at the same time I am washing myself\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \u8211?I\u8217?m {\itrying to get filth off myself. }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ It\u8217?s incredible. I thought soap was something you ate, yet here I am, calling myself Franz and rubbing this stuff round my neck. Not at all liking filth. Only yesterday, it used to be a way of life. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And there\u8217?s Father\u8212?OK, don\u8217?t say it, I\u8217?m only telling you\u8212?there\u8217?s FATHER, banging on the door with a fist and calling, \u8216?Franz, Franz, what\u8217?s the matter with you?\u8217?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ You think that\u8217?s odd? Then dig this: I ANSWER. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Yes, I make this noise kind of thing in my throat and I say, \u8216?I\u8217?m just ready.\u8217?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ That\u8217?s what I say. I have never spoken one word before \u8212? fine, many a scuttle here and there, but never a WORD. And there I stand, bold as brass, if shaking a bit, saying, \u8216?I\u8217?m just ready.\u8217? Maybe I\u8217?m growing stronger. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ And the nightmare goes on. I can\u8217?t repeat it. You\u8217?d think I was round the twist if I told you. I mean, like sitting at a breakfast table with a FAMILY. Not thousands, just four of them, each with two of these legs I\u8217?ve been telling you about. You think I looked funny? Up yours. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ I shiver to think of that breakfast. Those people . .. Not a one of them realized I was not human. They looked at me and they pretend I\u8217?m someone called Franz Kafka. Maybe they really thought I was Franz Kafka. People who can\u8217?t scuttle just can\u8217?t be trusted. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Standing, I sample a bowl of oatmeal. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ So after this meal, when I find I\u8217?m stuffing foul non-rancid things down my throat \u8212? without bad effects \u8212? I try a quick scuttle round the room. Can I get up the wall? Can I scuttle across the ceiling? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ What, with two legs? \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ Forget it. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ I fall flat on my bonce and break a chair. The other three people all run around screaming\u8212?quite fast, admittedly, but you would hardly call it scuttling. Scuttling needs technique. I don\u8217?t have to tell you. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{

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