Each Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

Day 19) S is for Short Stories: Choose a collection of Short Stories

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The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

I don’t remember when I first read this book, but I know it was after Fahrenheit 451Out of all his short story collections; this is my ultimate favorite. The stories range from funny, thoughtful, and downright creepy. It is an incredible collection and once you start, you just can’t stop.

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The Illustrated Man starts with an average joe taking a walking tour in the summer of Wisconsin. As he stops for the night he is come upon by an illustrated man.

This man used to work for the circus, but back in 1900 he broke his leg. Looking for a way to make money while he rested, he went to a tattoo artist who covered him from neck to belt. What he didn’t know was that this tattoo artist was a witch.

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Yes, she infused his illustrations with magic making them be alive and always moving telling their story.

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However, there is one blank spot on his back. If you are a woman, you see your whole life from birth to old age. If you are a man, you see how you die.

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The illustrated man warns his companion not to look, but he doesn’t listen and has to see them…

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Illustration I: The Veldt

The Lion King

This is what the DCOM Smart House is loosely based on.

The live in the future in a smart house that does everything for them. They even can change the pictures on the walls to be anything they want them to be. The children constantly want it to be a veldt with lions.

The parents try to discipline their children and get them to do more but all they want to do is sit around and have the machines do everything for them. The parents determine it is time to turn off the house and go back to how things are supposed to be. Will the parents be able to change their kids? Or will the kids make sure their parents can never boss them around again?

“The lions look real, don’t they?…I don’t suppose there’s any way—–‘

‘What?’

‘—that they could become real?”

Illustration II: Kaleidoscope

Space Mountain

The crew of a space ship has been torn apart, and this records their last thoughts as they hurl toward Earth.

“It was so very odd. Space, thousands of miles of space, and these voices vibrating in the center of it.”

Illustration III: The Other Foot

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Mars has been colonized only by African Americans. Now they hear that European Americans are traveling to Mars and decide to institute a Jim Crow law for them. Will they decide to make them pay for past wrongs, or will they all be able to start a new life in equality?

“This is the other shoe, Mayor, the other foot…”

Illustration IV: The Highway

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A husband and wife live by a highway in rural Mexico, where people stop all the time. Something seems to be more pressing than usual, but what?

“Oh, please hurry!’ one of the girls cried. She sounded very high and afraid.”

Illustration V: The Man

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A crew arrive on a planet ready to have glory and fame, but find the people uninterested as the person who came before them brought extreme happiness and bliss. One crewman believes him to be Jesus and wants to learn from the people. The Captain, however, is set on getting his glory and will stop this man any way he can.

“Leave these people alone. They’ve got something good and decent, and you come and foul up the nest and sneer at it. Well, I’ve talked to them too. I’ve gone through the city and seen their faces, and they’ve got something you’ll never have–a little simple faith, and they’ll move mountains with it. You, you’re boiled because someone stole your act, got here ahead and made you unimportant.”

Illustration VI: The Long Rain

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We have colonized Venus, but it is a horrible place of endless rain. Sun domes were built to help us stay sane and in health, and this story follows a group of astronauts as they hope to make it to the dome, but will they?

“Drops fell and touched other drops and they became streams that trickled over his body, and while these moved down his flesh, the small growths of the forest took root in his clothing.”

Illustration VII: The Rocket Man

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Astronauts are hard to come by and a hard life, so those that are astronauts are paid a lot, but gone for months. This story is the relationship of the mother and son as they deal with the father/husband’s absence.

“Doug…I want you to promise me something.’

‘What?’

‘Don’t ever be a Rocket Man.”

Illustration VII: The Fire Balloons

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A group of priests go to Mars to start a church and help bring peace and morals to a crazed group of colonists. One priest makes it his mission to try and bring Christ to the Martians.

“We feel absurd here—even I; for it is something new, this business of converting the creatures of another world.”

Illustration IX: The Last Night of the World

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A married couple realize that today is the last day on Earth. How would you spend your time if you had such an inclination?

“What would you do if you knew this was the last night in the world?”

Illustration X: The Exiles

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On Earth, countless literature from Edgar Allen Poe to William Shakespeare to Charles Dickens have been banned on Earth. They remain alive on Mars as their last books are still undamaged there. But when humans decide to completely destroy every page, these characters and their creators decide to wage a war on them. Will they win?

“His last book gone. Someone on Earth just now burned it.’

‘God rest him. Nothing of him left now. For what are we but books, and when those are gone, nothing’s to be seen.”

Illustration XI: No Particular Night or Morning

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Two friends are traveling in a spaceship, as one determines that nothing exists that he cannot touch. Is he right and there is nothing in space but emptiness?

“So I began to find gaps between everything. I doubted I was married or had a child or ever had a job in my life…I couldn’t prove anything.”

Illustration XII: The Fox and the Forest

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In the future, the world is an ugly one full of war and life in a factory creating more weapons of war. The one bright spot is the ability to travel back in time. A couple, William and Susan Travis, decide to run for their lives by remaining in 1930s Mexico. But will their plan work, or will they be captured and sent back?

“Save me, hide me, help me! Color my hair, my eyes; clothe me in strange clothes. I need your help. I’m from the year 2155!”

Illustration XIII: The Visitor

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Mars is a place where those with deadly diseases go and live out the remainders of their days. One day a young boy comes with the ability to create any image or bring back any memory. He plans to use it and rule over the others; but will they be willing to share or will they take him for what they want?

“Come on. Don’t you realize what’ll happen once they discover your talent? They’ll fight over you. They’ll kill each other–kill you–for the right to own you.”

Illustration XIV: The Concrete Mixer

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Mars goes to invade Earth, but instead finds the people welcoming them. One Martin, Ettil, never wanted to travel to Earth. He finds that although the Earthlings hope to exploit Martians, the Earth ways will also mark death for the Martians.

“Don’t you feel it?’ he whispered…Something’s going to happen to us. They have some plan. Something subtle and horrible. They’re going to do something to us-I know.”

Illustration XV: Marionettes, Inc.

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A man is tired of his clingy wife and pays for a cyborg double to take his place so he can go off and have fun. But what if the puppet is no longer satisfied at being controlled and wants to control the strings?

“Your wife is rather nice,’ said Braling Two. ‘I’ve grown rather fond of her.”

Illustration XVI: The City

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A group of astronauts land on an uncharted planet and find an empty city. But they soon realize this city is not as empty as it looks, as it has been waiting to unleash what it was made for.

“I am no longer your captain,’ he said. ‘Nor am I a man.’

The men moved back.

‘I am the city,’ he said, and smiled.”

Illustration XVII: Zero Hour

Miscommunication is always funny as a kid. Not so much later on in life.

Kids are playing that aliens are coming, an invasion in which they will rule and the grow ups will be gone. But what if it isn’t a game?

“Mom, I’ll be sure you won’t be hurt much, really!”

Illustration XVIII: The Rocket

From the film Stargate.

From the film Stargate.

Fiorello Bodoni has saved $3000 to send a family member into space, but only one can go. Which one?

“We will remember it for always, Papa. We will never forget.”

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In the end the last image is shown, our narrator’s death by the illustrated man. He runs for town, but will he make it?

Along came a spider morgan freeman running

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But the good kind of trauma.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to She Struck Him as a Fixer-Upper, a Block of Clay Ready for Pygmalion’s Chisel: The Overnight Socialite

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For more on Ray Bradbury, go to It’s A Fan World After All

For more on aliens, go to I Can Make You all Go Away! Any Time I Want To!: Charlie X, Star Trek (1966)

For more bible verses, go to So You’re the Little Woman Who Wrote the Book that Made this Great War: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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In The Exiles, they mention how no one believes in Santa Claus and he has become a shadow of the man he was, a skeleton in red. No more Christmas, no more.

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This reminds me of the song I Believe in Santa Claus. This was written by Maury Laws and Jules Bass and used for the Christmas Special, The Year Without a Santa Claus.

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I never believed in Santa Claus, but I like this song as it reminds you that no matter what happens you must hold on to the spirit of Christmas.

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No matter what, always believe in its goodness and love.

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This song was performed by Mickey Rooney and Ron Marshall

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For more on The Year Without a Santa Claus, go to A Baker’s Four Dozen

For more Christmas Carols, go to A Quest of Swords and Wizards: The Crown Conspiracy

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My Favorite Martian

How many of you out there are artists or crafters? Hands up.

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Well as all artists or crafters will tell you, when we are at work things can get messy.

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From splattered aprons…

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To residue under our fingernails and dyed skin.

It was awful!

Not to mention burns from hot glue guns, kilns, etc.

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Well the experience I had the other day was quite different then I’ve ever had.

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So this month at work we are all about space; astronauts, aliens, the sun, planets, etc.

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So the other day our theme was the moon. We pretended to be walking on it, read some adorable books: Moon Rope by Lois Ehle, Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes, and Happy Birthday Moon by Frank Asch (all some of my favorites).

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After, it was time for our craft in which we were making moon rocks.

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I was following the recipe the Crafty Chicks gave out, but things didn’t go exactly as expected.

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So the recipe was drier than I expected. We kept trying to make the balls but they weren’t sticking together.

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But never fear. I am a prime tortilla and pie dough maker, so I know exactly what to do in this situation, add more water.

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So I knead it all together like making pie or tortillas and it comes out great. Except that now my hands are dyed a very dark green.

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Yes, the food coloring I used to dye the rocks came off on my hands, like the Crafting Chicks said it would, but I was not prepared for how much.

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My hands were super dark green. And then when I went to wash the, it wouldn’t come off.

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I tried as much as I could, but they were too stained. Guess I should’ve worn gloves.

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The kids all said I looked like an alien.

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I told them, maybe I am an alien and my human makeup came off…

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But they knew I was just joking. Although it did make me want to go out and say “Klaatu barada nikto” like in The Day the Earth Stood Still.

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But there is a limited demographic that will understand what I’m saying. That is what happens when you are an old soul.

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It still was weird walking around with green hands. I kept getting all these strange looks from people as they were trying to figure out why my hands looked like that.

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But such is the life!

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For more on stories from my everyday life, go to Escape to Alcatraz

For more on aliens, go to Someone Has Erased His Memory: Total Recall (1990)

Adventure Time

Adventure

So let’s do it!

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I know some of you are thinking, what? Books?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Yep:

I mean think about it:

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Where else can you go through time, space, and all over the world?

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Nowhere except in a book.

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So:

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And go on an adventure!

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For more book-filled posts, go to Dream Location, Dream Guy

For more Lloyd Alexander, go to Helping Hands

For more on Supernatural, go to Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Cat Lovers All Know This 

They’re Alive!

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Day 18) Your Favorite Disney-Pixar Film

Toy Story

So I have to say that I think that this is one of the best Disney-Pixar films. It has a great cast of characters, an amazing storyline, and I thank Disney for bringing to light something that all us children thought growing up; that our toys would come alive when we left the room or turned our backs. I know I was convinced this growing up, as there were times when I would  leave a doll or stuffed animal somewhere only to turn back and find it in a completely different place.

Anyways, I just love this movie A lot. I had a toy Woody, Buzz, and Ham piggy bank. Yeppers, I was a huge fan. In fact, it makes sense that this is one of my favorite films and that I absolutely love Woody, as we are so much alike.

To find out who you are, go here.

To find out who you are, go here.

So the story is about a child, Andy, who has a great imagination:

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And different toys that he loves to play with. His favorite is a cowboy, Woody. On Andy’s latest birthday everything changes. His gifts are all spacemen; making his room go from a Western paradise to place beyond the milky way. The other really interesting thing about this film is that it actually gives a pretty good summary of the death of the Western. With the rise of the anti-hero and space being the “final frontier”in the 1960s-80s, Westerns lost their hold of being the King Genre, ruler of all.

There is no middle ground.

There is no middle ground.

 

To be honest most Sci-fi films were just Westerns in space (such as Star Wars and Star Trek). In fact Star Trek was actually proposed as being a tale of cowboys set in space.

Anyways, back to the film. So Woody begins to get jealous of all the attention that not only Andy gives his new Space toy, Buzz, but how everyone else treats the “new guy”. No one cares about Woody with the new boy in town. To make things even worse for Woody, Buzz thinks that he is the real Buzz and not a toy, no matter what Woody says.

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Everything comes to a head when Andy is going out for pizza with his mom and can only take one toy. Woody wants to be the chosen one, and plots to knock Buzz behind the desk, but instead actually knocks him out the window.

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All the toys think he murdered Buzz and are about to send him out, when Andy comes in, taking Woody with him as he can’t find Buzz.

Buzz, very much alive, sneaks onto their car, and when Andy’s mom stops for gas confronts Woody. The two get in a huge fight in which they say some of my favorite lines.

The two manage to sneak onto a Pizza delivery truck and get back to the restaurant. Woody tries to get Buzz onto Andy’s sister’s stroller, but he jumps into a claw machine that’s in the shape of  a rocket.

The two end up being picked by Andy’s evil neighbor Sid, who likes to torture and chop up his toys. There Buzz has a existential crisis after watching a Buzz Lightyear commercial. He tries to prove he isn’t a toy  by flying, but falls and breaks off his arm. Sid discards him, but his sister Hannah finds him and plays with him. Her attentions furthers Buzz’s depression and identity crisis.

Woody tries to get him to escape with him, by using Christmas lights to get across to Andy’s house. However, he can’t get Buzz to show the other toys that he is alive, so they won’t help him. Sid’s toys, who look really creepy as Sid destroys them and reconstructs them, but they end up healing Buzz and reattaching his limb.

Sid comes home and attaches a rocket to Buzz, hoping to blast him off, but is stopped by the rain. Woody sets out to help him, breaking a few rules along the way.

Buzz and Woody, now friends, try and get to Andy’s house before his family moves. They miss the truck and car, but Sid’s dog Scud chases after them. Buzz jumps on him to save Woody. And Woody goes into the moving van to get Andy’s R/C car. The other toys thinking Woody is still evil, knock him off the van. But he and Buzz join up and take off in the car. The car’s battery dies, and the two light Buzz’s rocket, flying off into the car.

So there you go. An amazing film, with great characters, lines, and one amazing story. 🙂 Love it!

For more on Toy Story, go to My Favorite Movie Lines

For more on Quizzes, go to Belle of the Ball

For more on Disney, go to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

For more on Star Wars, go to Happy Father’s Day

For more on Cowboys, go to Fashion Show

For more on Westerns, go to At the End of the Rainbow

For more on imagination, go to Belle of the Ball

For more on identity theft, go to The Two Witch Sisters

For more on pizza, go to Pink Elephants

For more on best buds, go to Best Friends