We’re Only Trying to Help You

MJG Zine Leave a Comment

by A.K. Sykora. “Our children live in France,” plump Algernon volunteered. Snug at her faux-marble desk, the heavy-shouldered director studied him. “Have they been notified?” “Yes, I called the twins as soon as poor Mildred got certified.” “And you?” “I didn’t want to leave her,” he said blandly. “We’ve been married thirty-two years.” Hunched on the bench beside him, Mildred studied the ceiling’s lo-burn bulb, and her silvery mouthpatch twitched. “You’re very generous, Mr. Shipley. Few adults arrive at the home attended. Mildred, you should be grateful.” The gaunt, grey-haired prisoner made a choking noise. Image from here.

Programming Note

MJG Uncategorized 8 Comments

First off- Welcome to all new readers of this site! Secondly- Thanks to all old and continuing readers. Things have changed a fair bit round here, with a new design and a new emphasis on an old direction, with still a change or two yet to come, and I thank you for sticking with me. Today’s Programming Note concerns what you can expect on this site in the future. The main announcement is that Out of Ruins (outofruins.org) will now be featuring short stories (and possibly poems) from authors besides myself (MJG). I’ve long wanted to set up my own …

The Squinching of Ricky Shay

MJG Stories, Surreal 4 Comments

When the orders came down that all the gold was to be digested by the end of the day, Efren couldn’t believe his ears, despite their unusual and rather floppy size. “All the gold?” he asked his co-consumer Ricky Shay, the fattest stupidest pig in the sty. “I mean, that’s some heavy stuff right there.” Ricky Shay ignored him, mostly. Ricky Shay was stupid, and didn’t understand English. He could grunt, and he could eat gold, and when it bust out through his system, it was, yes, it was thoroughly what it should be. But he didn’t speak a lick …

The mist-wreathed ruin of Matsuo mine

MJG Haikyo, Iwate, Mines / Factories 16 Comments

Matsuo mine in the north of Japan opened in 1914 and closed in 1969. In its heyday it was the biggest mine for sulfur in the Eastern world. It had a workforce of 4,000 and a wider population of 15,000, all of whom were accommodated in a make-shift city in the mountains of Hachimantai park. The city was known as the ‘paradise above the clouds’ for its comparatively luxurious apartment blocks and near-constant ebb and flow of mist. That same mist nearly prevented us from finding the place at all.

Stick Man

MJG Fantasy, Stories 5 Comments

Dray is slumped at the edge of his desk, doodling. It’s Saturday again. Another business studies class. 4 low level Japanese students talking about their companies in broken English. No matter what he does, it’s always boring. You’d think, you’re the teacher of a class, it’s going to be interesting. You’d think, you’re the teacher, you shouldn’t be the one falling asleep. But it happens. He spends longer every time, planning, brings in CDs, newspapers, games, but somehow it always comes down to this. Just, dull. Dray’s eyes creep shut. His classroom has always been too warm. The fan just …

The submerged Sherman tank off Saipan

MJG Marianas Islands, Planes / Tanks, World Ruins 44 Comments

The Battle of Saipan was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands from 15 June 1944 to 9 July 1944. The invasion fleet embarking the expeditionary forces left Pearl Harbor on June 5, 1944, the same day Operation Overlord was launched with the invasion of Normandy (AKA the D-Day landings). The Normandy landings were the larger amphibious landing, but the Marianas invasion fielded the larger fleet. By July 7, the Japanese had nowhere to retreat. Saito made plans for a final suicidal banzai charge. On the fate …