"It's getting hard all over!"
by Richard Karsmakers
Autumn is a time of decay, and a time of death. Within a couple
of days there were too many deaths: Freddie Mercury, Eric Carr
(Kiss drummer, died of cancer) and...Malmpje. And I am not even
counting Metallica's James Hetfield, who is rumoured to have died
in a car crash (we still don't know if this is true or nothing
but a false rumour).
This little story is dedicated to the softest, sweetest, tamest,
most docile, cutest, nicest pet I've ever had. It was written the
day of its death, three days after Freddie Mercury's.
"What shall we do with the corpse?"
The question seemed out of place, the voice sounded unsure.
"How should I know?"
The reply was matter-of-fact. Only the slightest of tremors
betrayed some emotion.
"We can't just have it lying there."
"We can't, can we?" the other said.
They both thought in silence. They had never been confronted
with a dead body before. They had not expected this to happen.
Everything has started off really ordinarily, like any ordinary
"No, we can't."
It was more a means to break the oppressive silence than an
afterthought. Silence followed.
One of them, the man, fingered his pockets nervously. He felt
sad and relieved at once. He felt he was not allowed to feel
anything. He had to be the man. He had to remain down to earth.
Having emotions was something for women.
He thought he heard the other, a woman, stifle a sob.
he turned around but failed to see the remains of it on her
face. Her eyes were blank, her face almost without expression.
They looked at the corpse again.
It looked peaceful.
"At least it didn't suffer," the woman said, "did it?"
"I guess it didn't," the man said, his voice betraying the fact
that he had not thought about that, "it was still very active
He looked at the corpse again. There was no blood. There were no
bruises. It still looked perfect, almost alive.
"Are you sure it's dead?" the woman asked.
"Of course it is," the man replied, maybe somewhat too abruptly,
"you can feel it, it's stiff all over. Rigor mortis."
"I am not going to touch it," she said, shivering at the
Just to prove he could, the man did.
"Stiff all over," the man said, trying to sound assuring.
The woman swallowed something.
"Come on now," the man started, "there's no need for that."
He embraced the woman. Her body started to shake a bit. He
patted her back, not quite knowing what to do. He didn't like it
when women cried, he had never quite been able to cope with it.
She didn't do it much. That's maybe what made it all worse to
He took some paper handkerchiefs, unfolded them and handed them
to her, trying at once to ignore her crying and console her. He
was not succeeded very well with regard to the ignoring bit. He
swallowed as well.
When she had regained somewhat of her old composure, he ventured
to speak again.
"We still don't know what to do with it," he said carefully,
"the corpse, I mean. People will think things if we bury it in
the garden or something, just like that."
She did not reply. She only swallowed.
"We can just put it in the dust bin," he said, immediately
regretting it when he saw tears rolling down her cheek again. He
surely needed to get some lessons at tactics. He handed her
another handkerchief after thoughtfully unfolding it for her.
He both adored and hated women for their emotional nature. When
they cuddled up to him, caressed him, made love to him, women
could not possibly get emotional enough. He'd prefer them to
virtually pass out or cry of happiness at his kiss, soft touch or
slow penetration. But in cases like this he preferred them to be
more like himself; down to earth, easy-going, objective.
It had to be dealt with. Efficiently and with thought - but
quickly if possible. He tried to think. What to do with the body?
He found himself getting affected by her constant sobbing, but
succeeded in suppressing it.
"I think we'd better sleep on it," he said, trying to soothe
her. He didn't know what else to say, really. He felt his lower
lip trembling, but he did now want to succumb to it. After all,
he was objective, cool, objective. Masculine.
She acquiesced, not saying anything. She sniffed, wiping her
last tears away.
"Now there's a good girl," he whispered whilst stroking her
shoulder. He sighed deeply. He had been triumphant once more.
They went to bed, getting a couple of hours of restless sleep
before they tackled the problem of the corpse in their room.
Next day they put the dead hamster in the dust bin. They both
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.