From the Archives [Fictional Machines]

from the archives 1

Before I started the ongoing ‘Progression‘ series this site was a place for me to publish my new short stories.

Over the course of six months last year I shared no less than thirty-five tales here on Fictional Machines. When added together these fictional yarns total 26, 294 words. I created 68 original images [Some are photographs, some are original drawings and paintings-  And some are a combination of both] to accompany the stories as illustrations.

It was this experimentation with creating a mixture of images and words that led to the eventual beginning of ‘Progression‘ [Which, by the way, will be resuming in the very near future!].

Anyway, most of these short stories have been buried behind the first fifty pages of ‘Progression,’ and then behind the recent slew of awards.  I also removed the sidebar entirely a while back to make each post larger and easier to read, so the ‘Archives’ list is no longer there.

I decided to post this list- A virtual “table of contents” for all of the stories from 2012.



>The Dream Journal Series:

I have shared five of these with the public so far [With ‘Dissolution’ being the unofficial #0 in the series].  Even though I have not posted any of these for months I have continued to write and illustrate new ones.  These are all based upon real dreams and I have attempted to recreate each dream through words and images.

>>>>>Dream Journal Zero – Dissolution

>>>>>Dream Journal #1 – The Fifteenth of May

>>>>>Dream Journal #2 – The Twenty-Ninth of May

>>>>>Dream Journal #3 – The Fourteenth of June

>>>>>Dream Journal #4 – The Seventeenth of July



These three posts are the first three chapters of a short novel I wrote last year called ‘Impressions.’ It is a suspense / thriller of sorts that deals with technology being turned against the public to bring down a total police state. 1984 on steroids.  The story is finished and copyrighted and I think I’ve found a home for it. I plan to share more of this with you all in the future.  In the mean time…

>>>>>Impressions [Part One: The New Hire]

>>>>>Impressions [Part Two: Lunch]

>>>>>Impressions [Part Three: Friday Night]


>The Economic Collapse:

These three stories are not directly related to each other, but the central theme of each is the same-  The economic downturn / hard times / the recession effecting different people in different ways…

>>>>>Another Uncertain Future

>>>>>Another Day, Another Dime




The four stories listed below are all separate from each other.  They are only grouped together here because each is a dark tale with horror and / or supernatural elements.

>>>>>The Backwoods of Oblivion

>>>>>The Voice of the Damned

>>>>>The Reptiles in Basement Three

>>>>>A Gruesome Discovery


>Three attempts at humor:

‘Finger Pointing’ was later published as a cartoon on a news website [With permission], ‘Freedom of Speech’ is really more depressing than funny, and the other one, well…

>>>>>Finger Pointing

>>>>>Freedom of Speech

>>>>>A Romantic Dinner By Candlelight


>One attempt at poetry:

>>>>>The Source


>Two random stories that are not part of anything:

>>>>>The Alcoholic

>>>>>Water Down


>The Jack & Charlotte Altomare stories:

Before ‘Progression’ Jack and Charlotte were the focal characters in thirteen stories published here.  These stories are not directly related to what happens in ‘Progression,’ these would be set in the “regular world,” before Jack crosses over to the “other dimension.”

>>>>>Vacant Branches Reaching Out Across the Bitter Decline of the Day


>>>>>The Blue Tint of Tranquility

>>>>>The Sculpture Downtown

>>>>>The Man in the Shadows


>>>>>The Mind’s Eye and the Ticking Clock

>>>>>All that is Necessary…

>>>>>The Ghost Photo

>>>>>Reduce to Silence

>>>>>Inside the [Big] Box

>>>>>Letting Go



>And, finally, a short story that is destined to become a classic on WordPress:

>>>>>The Unknown Blog

from the archives 2 [Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2013 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved


Progression #50

[Chapter Thirteen- “Charlotte’s Dream” — Part Three of Three]

progression number fifty –

[To be continued…]

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2013 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved


***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***


Charlotte placed the conch shell on the ground by her feet. The moment she moved her hand away from it the shell vanished- Swallowed by the darkness.

She turned around and saw the tunnel of light the voice had told her about. The white light within it seemed to be pulsing as it swirled in a counterclockwise direction.

Charlotte blinked and then she was inside of the tunnel. It was as if she had skipped ahead in time- She was standing there looking at the light and then she


was suddenly floating through it. But the time in between the two was simply missing.

So beautiful, so hypnotic. She thought as the light swirled and shifted on all sides.

She reached the end and regained the use of her legs. The tunnel closed behind her as quickly and silently as it had appeared.

I’m on some sort of island. Charlotte thought. There were two large trees, one on either side. She could see the jagged edge of the island [And could hear water


lapping against it] but everything else had been erased within a vast white void in all directions.

“Your sadness has caused you to live in isolation.” The male voice from the shell said. It was no longer a whisper and seemed to be booming out from above her.

“Yes.” She said.

“Leave your sadness here and return to the your world as a new person.” The voice said.

A trail of large rocks and boulders appeared across the water in front of her and Charlotte moved across the rocks.

Progression #49

[Chapter Thirteen- “Charlotte’s Dream” — Part Two of Three]

progression number forty-nine

[To be continued…]

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2013 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved


***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***


Charlotte was lost- Wandering through total darkness with no sense of direction or time. She could feel the solid ground beneath her feet, but she could not see it. She was scared to take each step, worried that she was going to trip over something or fall off of the edge.

If there really is an edge here. She thought.

A tiny pinprick of light appeared directly in front of her and she immediately gravitated towards it.
It appears to be some sort of


glowing shell! Charlotte thought as the object came into view. It looks like a very large conch shell

She was reaching out to pick it up when she noticed a soft, distant male voice coming out of the shell. She quickly lifted the shell up to her ear and listened to the voice, which was barely above a whisper:

“Again- Jack has been through a lot today. He believes that he has crossed over from his world and into another dimension. Even though this is not exactly what


has happened to him it is imperative that he believes this explanation until the time is right.” The voice seemed familiar to her, and yet she was unable to identify it.

“What really happened, then?” Charlotte said. “Has he really returned from the dead?”

The voice in the shell ignored her question. “Listen- I need you to set this shell down and then turn around. You will see a tunnel of light behind you. Walk into the light and find your way back to consciousness.”