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Emma tentatively pushed open the enormous, heavy oak
door. It seemed to lament its age with a moan as it
revealed Professor Rust's grand dining room. She lifted
cream-white skirt and ventured inside.
windows thundered under the weight of the rain, which
frames from floor to ceiling, reaching 20 feet
above her head. The chandelier rocked to and fro, its
crystals tinkling, reflecting the candlelight in
patterns around the room like a ghostly fire engulfing
"Please," came a hollow voice. She shivered, as its deep
vibrato came again: "Sit down."
Emma hesitated, but at last she sat at the head of the
table, in a gothic wooden throne. Her innocent,
glistening eyes darted about, searching for her host.
one was to be seen.
With a flash of lightning, he appeared; his face shrouded
shadow; his gaunt fingers tapping the arms of his chair;
breath thick, palpable.
"I invited you here, Miss Cobblepot, because I have seen
you from my tower." His spindly finger pointed skyward.
"You, living down there, in the valley; I... wanted to
discuss something with you over supper." A clap of
Emma felt an apparition stroke her from the bass of her
spine to the top of her head, and she froze.
A ghastly, monstrous contorted face appeared at her side
and wailed in torment: "Sooooouuup?!"
She nodded in fear at the creature, who placed a bowl of
pea-green mush in front of her, waddled awkwardly the
yards to the other end of the table, and placed another
of the Professor. They traded words briefly inaudible to
Emma. The beast left, disappearing into the gloom.
Emma took the silver soup spoon and, shaking, tasted
green slop in front of her.
"You see, Miss Cobblepot, I have no heir to my
"I'm terribly sorry, but, may you pass the salt please?" she
"I beg your pardon?" he boomed.
She took a breath, lifted her chest a little. A little
"The salt? May I have some salt please? For the soup I
The Professor's fingers once again rapped the arm of his
chair. Emma could swear he was growling. But then: "Of
course, my pretty."
His robed body leaned forward to grab the crystal salt-
shaker. Emma had ne'er seen the like. Smoke was
billowing from it. The Professor carefully held it above a
rail on the table, then let go, where it hung, suspended
the air, as though held by an invisible waiter. He flicked
it. The shaker glided over the table in silence, leaving a
trail of smoke as it flew. All the way across, it never
halted, jilted, shook. All the way into Emma's pale,
trembling hands. It was as cold as a corpse. She gingerly
shook its contents into her soup then replaced it over the
rail, where once again it hovered, stock still.
"Now, my sweet, as I was saying
I have no Earthly-born
Also known as quantum levitation. [theleopard, Oct 18 2011]
Halfbakery Halloween Story
Shameless elf-promotion [8th of 7, Oct 18 2011]
Diamagnetic Table Hockey
[xaviergisz, Oct 21 2011]
(?) Alvin's Hat
That Emma Cobblepot certainly gets around, don't she! [DrBob, Oct 21 2011]
(?) I take it all back [marklar]
Hoverboard! [theleopard, Oct 28 2011]
||Dark, evocative, brilliant, overcomplicated. An instant
||I like the bit about the salt-shaker, too.
||<sings>There's a light/Over at the Frankenstein place...</sings>
||Care for a game of shuffleboard?
||// She lifted her cream-white skirt and ventured inside //
||She ventured inside her own skirt ? Is she some sort of contortionist ?
||She wasn't necessarily wearing it at the time.
||Is //ventured// some sort of Gothic euphemism?
||"It was a dork and a stormy night..." Seriously, it is a
neat effect and the most worthwhile implementation of its
benefits possible. [+]
||//the most worthwhile implementation of its
benefits// ... //just seems limited in scope//
||, the idea started out as an attempt to
implement the meissner effect into an actual
product that people might use, but it became
increasingly clear that, at present, the technology
doesn't really have many practical benefits other
than looking really freakin' cool.
||The joke was (as I think [AusCan] nudged on) to
make something out of it that isn't terribly
needed, but would look cool, however only really
niche market, ie gothic mansions.
||The point may have been obfuscated somewhat
when I realised it was Halloween coming up and
embellished the yarn for dramatic effect.
(Actually, I just enjoy writing this shit.)
||[8th] Touché on the skirt front. Skirt ventures
sounds like my life. Not so many /ad/ventures,
||Howcome this gets the croissant and my very own tale of how to sneak a gingerbread house with a large oven through the planning regs only got the fishbones </envy>
||How about a Meissner-Effect waiter's tray that you
could place things on? Then it would look more like
an invisible waiter. And have sensors in the track
linked to speakers under the table that play
footsteps and floorboard creaks and heavy groaning
||//How about a Meissner-Effect waiter's tray //
||Well, therein lies the rub [marklar]; I don't think an
object suspended by flux tubes can carry much
weight. Hence, choosing a bit of salt to carry.
||Otherwise, I'd suggest some sort of Yo!Sushi / ice-
cream parlour amalgamation, at which patrons grab
their floating, super-conductedly-cooled desserts as
they float past over a magnetic rail...
||(+) Got swept up in it very quickly. You have a gift.
Now you have to finish the story though, for Pete's sake.
My mind's going to spin off like fifty off-shoots and each of those will have their own off-shoots and there won't be room for anything else until they play themselves out, and Aaauuurrrrrgh.
||Could you just, like on your profile page or something, just, finish it.
Please. I've never asked you for anything else, ever, have I?
||A Jedi must learn to control his thoughts.
||[2 fries], Hint: An angry torch-carrying mob gets
involved, but not before Professor Rust seeds his
||Check out the <linky>. Apparently the meissner
can be powerful enough to carry objects [marklar].
Your tray of an invisible waiter could well become a
||+ Nice to read a well written idea!
||Id forgotten about this one. Funnily enough, earlier I was thinking
about the practicalities of a Chladni plate salt cellar and if it were
possible to harness the vibrations from the table and conversation
to create the Chladni patterns.
||Depends; the plate would have to be very thin and resonant (like a drum skin) and the conversation may have to be amplified. Not sure of an actual drumskin would give the patterns. You could have speaking trumpets at each place setting into which you bellow "CAN YOU PASS THE SALT PLEASE".
||[poc] ideally, the act of asking for the salt would cause a Chladni
pattern to be formed on the (resonant) tabletop which caused a pile
of salt to accumulate in front of you
||I always want the Peltier effect to be more efficient so you can actually use it for something. I think a butter dish at the table could work, whether you like your real butter soft and spreadable, or have a thing about germs and want to leave it on the table but have it stay cold the peltier effect might just barely do it.
||Dr. Rust's tablecloth could have many fine lines of conductive polymers running through it as thread, and whenever anyone set any of the electrified accoutrements down, and wherever they set them down they would get power from the threads in the tablecloth.
||A computer at the edge of the tablecloth would poll all the lines on the tablecloth at computer speed to see (and instantiate) which elegant lines of conductor should be on, and which should be off, for resting hands.
||Emma Cobblepot: where is she now? And how is the diabolical
heir getting along in primary school?