Friday, November 30, 2012

Scorpion Sting



Bragi set the small ballista into position behind Hansa. The giant mare stood in line with a dozen horses, and was mounted by a straw and stick mock up of the bard, which looked surprising real, even at 100 paces.

“How can you be sure the murderer will appear M’lord” said his captain Bartholomew Bitters.

“I have studied the arrogant sod’s traits” replied Bragi, “and you can be sure as soon as he reads the king’s warrant charging me with bringing the man to justice, he will mount the parapet there and hurl his favorite epithets before settling in for a siege.”

Within minutes of the General’s declaration, a tall rotund chap in hose and velveteen stepped to the top of his castle’s protections and began to shout rather nasty vitriol toward the assembled King’s men.

“Hansa, now” was all the bard said, and the horse moved to her left, pushing the line to move along with her, and a moment later a bolt the size of the leg of a stool rocketed toward the foppish figure.

The men nearby heard the pluck of lute strings and a soft voice whispering words of promise, just before the huge arrow found its target and sent Baron Carden McCray into the sky for a short while before depositing his now lifeless corpse atop the woodpile near the castle kitchens.

“Aye,” a soldier exclaimed, “behold the scorpion’s sting! A fine shot your Bardness!” Bragi smiled and bowed, then remounted his lute onto Hansa’s haunch and turned to his Captain once more. “I know its cheating a bit” he said, “but I have a date with Galtee's Queen Regent tonight and she hates to be kept waiting.”

The Care and Feeding of a Hyperbole



Morden sat frozen, afraid to look, afraid to look away. The scene before him defied description yet his mind churned to make sense of what bred none.

The beast was huge, as tall as a hay barn and wide as a team of horses was long. It was little more than a face, embossed into an oozing, fleshy pustule. Lips the shape of two stacked log chains sneered, showing four rows of jagged, yellowed teeth. Six eyes, all peering in different directions, spinning as if searching for something not yet realized, pocked the upper reach of the horror in a random fashion. From its skull came expulsions of a mud brown goo, flung this way and that, until even its own razor sharp tongue dripped with fetid slime.

And there before the fiend was his aunt, sweet Desiree’, staring at the thing, muttering, and sweating as if she’d soon liquefy and evaporate. The boy leaned into Bragi for a moment, trying to keep some equilibrium, and then fell away to his knees, where he retched.

“Don’t do that boy, you’ll ruin my appetite” Bragi said softly; “rather you might pay attention as one day you may find the need to call the creature yourself.”

Morden stopped a moment, considered what the bard had told him, and vomited again. Once his inner workings has ceased their convulsions, he wiped his face and rose, quickly shifting his gaze from the ground to Bragi’s face so as to miss the horror between.

“What is it M’lord” he asked; “and why is auntie Des so close to it?”

“No worries boy” he answered, “it won’t eat her if that’s your vision. It’s a Hyperbole lad, a construct of her own making, and she’s attempting to tame it so as to force it into service as it were.”

Morden was dumbstruck. “My aunt calls demons?  I thought she was a wizard not a witch!”

Bragi laughed. “I thought I’d had my fill of the young” he chortled, “but damn and damn if they aren’t entertaining. It’s no demon young sir! Demons and the like are sentient, or at least they would like you to think so. A hyperbole has the brain of a giant pile of horse apples, and the smell of the same, presuming one is trained to sniff them out. Now you’ll notice she is giving all her concentration to her task, as to give a hyperbole space to feel itself free, well then one will have crossed the line; it would grow so large, people in the next county would see it, and then things may spiral out of control. If one does not keep tight leash on a hyperbole, it may terrorize the entire world before it’s done; or worse!”

“But, what could possibly be worse?”

“The thing might enter and mingle with the spirit of the conjurer themselves, becoming one with the poor sod. Thereafter, all the magician would be able to think about, speak of, and appear in the name of, would be the hyperbole that they themselves created!”

“Dastardly!” the boy shouted.

“Again lad, don’t fear for your aunt. She has her own sharp tongue, she can whip her monster sufficiently to keep it in its place.

The young wizard was not moved to comfort, but rather still quaked in his pointy toed shoes.

“But” he stammered, “why in Amoria’s name would anyone raise a hyperbole deliberately? It seems… monstrous!”

“Aye, it is that lad, monstrous indeed. Why most bring them to life is a mystery that scholars much more learned than I have pondered for centuries. Some believe that for a few, life as it is seems so maudlin and dull, they can’t help but want to add spice to the stew. So they conjure as large and hideous a hyperbole as they have the power to create, and then let it loose on the populace who might worship it, or perhaps become so frightened of its portents they worry themselves, even unto death! These black magicians hope to see themselves recognized as the ‘spinners’ one day, long after it would matter to the victims of their invention, so as to become famous and possibly rich for having been so clever.”

Morden shook his head. “They are a cruel lot” he surmised; “why, an executioner has more compassion!”

“True lad, true. But then others delve into the Hyperbolic Arts for a purpose; to make the whole world think and act as they do!”

“I can see if one were able to make a hyperbole with the right blend of believability and intimidation” Morden postulated, “one might sway even those commonly indifferent into their corral.”

Bragi was impressed. “Go on boy, your studies have been fruitful I see. What then?”

“Then,” Morden paused more for effect as he’d already thought out his conclusion; “if one were to continue the creation of more and more hyperboles, say of similar stature and repulsive qualities, those turned would become more and more fervent, prone to doing nearly anything the conjurer desired!”

The old coot applauded young Morden’s deduction. He was maturing quickly; Desiree would need to keep a tight rein on this one. “Correct boy! You win the prize! Now, we should see about lunch, I’m famished!”

Morden squealed a bit at his mentor’s exuberance. He too was starving, now that his breakfast had been spent. But as they turned to go, another question stopped the boy from moving another step.

“But Bragi” he asked, “which of those two would describe my aunt? I can neither see her trying to rule the world, no have I ever known her to be a prankster!”

“Well truly” Bragi said as he put his arm around his student, “Desiree’ has her own unique purpose for raising a hideous monster to hang over her head this day.” He leaned down to whisper into the boy’s ear, lest he be heard by the woman nearly a half mile westward. “It’s her time of the month lad” he said; “and she’s not in the mood to suffer the pleasantries of passersby, so she makes sure they have reason to not cross her path.”

Morden nodded. “We call it ‘the new moon howling’ at school” he said. “I don’t really understand it, but I have been scarred by its effects, so I try and avoid it whenever I can.”

“Smart boy” Bragi said as he patted the wizard in training on his head. “Now, I think Aishen has a lovely arugula and rhetoric salad with prop and gandize dressing waiting for us. I know you’re going to like it as she only uses the freshest ingredients! Race you to camp!”

As they ran up the small hill, Bragi played a light tune on his penny whistle and the north wind picked him off his feet and carried him to the camp well ahead of Morden. Bragi had cheated of course, but that’s what curmudgeons do.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Pebble in the Wind

“Not one step closer” Bragi said as the troll shuffled to a halt. “Now tell me what it is your chief wants and I’ll mull over his demands; and try to use big boy words in spite of the fact that your brain is no bigger than a pebble.”

The troll’s eyes nearly glowed as the blood of trollrage filled them. “Oogglick have no want” he began using his big boy words as requested, “besides you human dies!” It smiled, pleased with its use of grammar. Obviously the troll village's investment in Gwandamoob the Tolkeinesque Englandish tutor was working out well.

As the troll stepped forward the earth at his feet vanished and he plummeted a thousand yards into the canyon below. Bragi and Kottskold watched as the beast exploded into a liquid mass.

“How is it we’re standing here in the sky” asked Kott, “and how did you create the illusion of the cliff's being long enough to make us seem as if we were standing on it?”

The bard pulled a small wooden instrument from his frontal pouch, still picking at slim metal tines upon its surface. “It’s called a kalimba sir. Now get walking toward the actual stone if you please; my fingers are getting tired.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In the Year 2525

You’d think a hard slap would be punishment enough, but then she embarked on a speech.

“As it is clearly stated in article 6 of the California Code of Sexual Crime Justice, “A ‘Signal’ is merely an enticement to another to ‘pay attention to me’. It shall in no way amount to an offer of sex, a request for sex, or a seduction of any sort. If one delivers a ‘signal’, the person signaled has no right to physically act on that maneuver beyond turning his or her head in order to more comprehensively pay homage.”

“But” I argued, “you gave me a cue! I’m sure of it! And in the same section, subsection pp it says ‘a cue on the other hand is an invitation to sex and may be responded to in a physical manner.”

“Well you interpreted wrong buster” she replied. “It was definitely a signal. Now hit the road before I call the Flirt police!”

I left the pub, swearing off dating for the last time.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lowland Fling

I do have a happy note for y'all, but it requires your imaginations. First, you have to think of me, this great big baldish guy with a huge belly. (Here's a shot in case you can't remember) Now you need to see me in my kitchen in the corner where the mixer is. ( Here's a shot in case you can't remember.) Then you need to imagine me without a shirt on. (Here's the best I can do for a shot and still keep my modesty intact)

Ok, got that vision? I was making a half sheet of brownies. A half sheet pan is quite large; the recipe takes a cup of cocoa, 2 cups of flour, seven eggs and 3/4 pound of butter among other things. I was mixin it all up in my lovely Kitchen Aid mixer and had decided that it was time to stop, as one doesn't want to overbeat baked goods you know. Just previous to making this decision I was joking with my lovely wife (who was busy making the frosting for our lovely brownies) what a crappy baker I was. In fact I told her about a time when I was working at the deli this very recipe came from, and I was making some sort of cookies, and I'd forgotten entirely to add the sugar to a batter making about 6 dozen cookies. Luckily, as I'm a pig I'd tasted my wares when the first sheet came out of the oven and was able to correct my mistake before ruining 30 bucks worth of ingredients.

Well ok, nevermind that. So now you're looking at a great big half naked fat guy, standing over a mixer full of chocolate goo, when he begins to lift the beater out of the bowl in order to centrifugally remove most of the batter from the paddle, when suddenly he suffers a severe brain fart and forgets in exactly which direction one wants to push the mixing speed bar in order to slow it down a notch. Then, as you might expect, the mixer speeds up and begins to fling tiny globules of chocolate egg glop into the air surrounding the mixing bowl. So what does our hero do? He freaks, panics, and in his zeal to turn OFF the mixer he shoves the bar to the fully ON position, flinging giant sized globules of what amounts to chocolate baby poop onto the chest of said hero, and the stove and the sink, and the floor where little Dusty the Dog is thanking his lucky stars, just moments before our hero starts screaming vulgarities in a strange and foreign tongue.

Just. Shoot. Me.

Or, stop by for a brownie. They're delicious. And I've almost got all the batter out of my chest hair!

Johnny Rubio, Heart Puppeteer

For the prompt: "I've got you under my skin"

They say within every sociopath is an explosive genius going nova. Ok, that’s what I say, but mostly because it describes me to a “t”. You’ve no idea what intellect it took, what brilliant mathematical skills it required to not only create the world’s first miniaturization machine that would work on living beings without killing them altogether, and to manufacture the world’s first one man fully powered, oxygen recirculating body submarine, but to line up my trajectory in such a way that once using the machine on myself I would end up squarely on the tip of a single thumbtack while the Minimearator would stay hidden in plain sight across the room!
 

Beyond that, think of the astounding knowledge in psychology I possess, to know exactly what to write in a “you can’t leave me, I will be with you forever” letter to get my girlfriend Eva to slam her fist down on her desk (she’s so predictable) right on top of the perfectly placed tack!

Now, I was under her skin and moving through the fatty layers toward the nearest vein. From there it would only be a short swim to her pump organ where I will manipulate her heartstrings until she loves me!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Round Trip to Infinity

The light was brilliant, a pinprick at first and then growing as if an iris dilating. There was movement within, shadows darting, fingers pointing. Voices called to me, first my mother’s, then a few more and a few more until there was a great cacophony of shouting and pleading and wailing as well.

I dearly wanted to advance, to meld with this sun, but I could feel myself pulling away. I screamed. I had no control, I was slipping backward. The voices were getting louder, the light, dimmer. Suddenly the tunnel vanished and my eyes shot open to be welcomed by a scene of gristle and bone and blood. My own of course, my life shattered into a million shards, my destiny remade by the wishes of one zealot in a small market in a country I’d not even known the name of before the day I’d enlisted.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Brunch on the Hellbound Train

Ever have someone suck your entire soul from you in an hour? Ever walked away from a conversation wondering if your lips should be sewn together, leaving you with every reason to cease interspecies association? Ever been so excited by something that you literally feel all tingly as children's books might describe, and suddenly find cause to change your mind as if you were tethered to an on/off switch? 

Nary a Smudge

So shallow have I lived my life it’s likely I have made no mark
or lit a candle in the dark of someone else’s soul
I’d like to claim my time a boon the universe might recognize
but I’ve no doubt my paltry prize was wasted, on the whole

Why does it seem to matter only once we reach our golden years
when truly we’ve no time for tears, yet then quite understand
the time for making history has all but come and quickly gone
and all our aimless dodging spawned just footprints in the sand

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Baggage Claim

“That’s mine!” I shouted, “take your grubby hands off it!”

The boy looked at me with sad eyes. “I’m sure it’s mine mister” he said as he pointed at the opening, “see here, my mother died young, my father was bitter, I had no friends in school, girls never liked me…” He pulled the drawstrings tight. “Yea” he repeated, “it’s mine alright.”

I felt badly for him. I knew exactly how he felt, and then some, which was the issue; the “and then some”.

“No wait” I said as gently as I could as I zipped open the bag’s outer compartment, “here, in the pouch; the sight of a naked nun.”

He jumped back a bit. “Holy shit!” he said; “I aint seen nothing like that! You’re right! That can’t be my bag! It’s really yours? What else is in there?”

I grabbed the duffel off the conveyor and swung it onto my back, its weight nearly dropping myself to my knees. “Oh nothin’ kid,” I lied, skipping the asylum and the arrest, the failed marriages and being sterile among other things packed inside; “mine’s pretty much the same as yours, ‘cept for the nun, and that was an accident. I can help you with yours if you want. It wouldn’t be the first time I carried someone else’s along with my own.”

“Nah” he said, “I may as well get used to it, I’ve got a long way to go, but thanks for the offer old man.”

I found a bench and heaved to while I watched the kid grab the correct sack and follow the yellow line marked “Next Foster Parents”. I had some time before the train to “Next Life” arrived. I thought it’d be nice to relax a bit, just an old man and his baggage, pondering the possibilities.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dance of the Reincarnatorium



 To the photo prompt below:

Finally the mule that stood before him was finished and moved aside.

“Next” shouted the man behind the counter. Jess stepped forward the best he could on waxy legs.

One Nut Short of a Full Hopper

It has taken one full year to complete my task. Months passed while I build a forge, another few to find materials, one to create my weapons and a final few to train with them so that I might become one with my swords; a killing machine!

One might think me insane, but one cannot help obsession when one is transformed thusly. I still have no use for my tongue, it’s ability to dart the entire width of a sombrero only a source of self loathing, and this green translucent skin makes my beady eyes cringe. She shall rue the day she cast her pox on me. She shall bear the wrath of rana del señor!

Mataré a la bruja! I shall kill the witch who has made me croak! Beware hag! For I am Antonio Jesus Carlos José María Salazar Ardilla de la Tuercas, Ninja Frog!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Subtly Spellbound

I knew she liked me, but that in itself was my bane. All the girls liked me. I was the lord high protector, the ear for their troubles, the grin for their tears. I was sugar daddy and big brother, teacher, lender, teddy bear. What I was not though it seemed was a prospective mate. “Why waste all that good guyness with a relationship” I had to guess. I just wasn’t dangerous enough.

I’d tried to learn to be cruel, but it made me feel too guilty so I had to stop. I was too gangly to dance, too geeky to party properly and booze generally made me either cry or puke. I needed a hook if I were ever going to get beyond random humping and hoping for more. That’s when I developed my craft.

My breath was held as not to miss

a moment of your whispered sound
I lay one soft, imagined kiss
that spell now cast; your soul now bound


Yes, 


I turned to witchcraft…

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wham. Bam. Damn You Ma'am!

Sure she was two stories up, but the fact is I wasn’t planning on doing anything but break her fall a bit. I mean please, the building was on fire and she wouldn’t jump! What was I supposed to do? If all that stood between her death and her living with a broken ankle or twisted knee was her getting up the guts to let go of the deck rail, you bet I was going to lie, or do anything else I thought would force her hand.

“Jump! I’ll catch you!” Naturally she denied me on the first call. No one will believe a stranger is telling the truth at first. “Please” I shouted, “I’m not kidding! I’m a team gymnast and we do stuff like this every day!”

I’d peaked her interest, but she still didn’t buy it.

“I’m too heavy” she called out, “if you try to catch me you’ll break your back!”

“No really” I called back, “I’ve done this before, you’ve gotta trust me!”

Of course I’d never done it before, and what she said made a lot of sense; catching her would likely kill me, but as I said, I was just going to be a cushion and slow her down a bit. Yet, she wouldn’t let go, and there we stood, arguing, as if we had all the time in the world and the flames weren’t creeping through the double glass doorway and onto her platform. But no matter, that’s when the explosion took the decision from us.

How would I have known she was storing a spare propane tank under her gas grill? Hell, how would I know she had a gas grill, I was just a passerby and standing 23 feet below her. Had I, I certainly would have hurried the discussion along.

What were the odds I would be blown back only a few feet, so as to put me in the exact path of her trajectory. She flew like a rainbow and I was her pot-o-gold. The moment she landed on my head I heard the snap, but I wasn’t sure what the noise had meant until much later, after the dimensional shift and relighting of the tunnel.

Now here I am in the “death by Samaritanism” line, waiting my turn to see whether I am transported back as a rodent, get my gaggle of virgins or meet Peter at the Pearly gates. I can’t tell where I’ve landed for sure, the place is devoid of icons, and it’s kinda foggy, like in the movies.

Oh and her? She lived. Broke a rib. Spent 3 months bitching that if the stupid stranger hadn’t gotten in her way she would have landed without injury. I hope I go back as a rat; I have some plague transference to do.

Friday, November 16, 2012

To Whom It May Pertain

I cannot touch you as it is, for truth is in my vow
I cannot kiss your warm, sweet hands, nor brush your silken brow
I cannot e’er take bed with you and light your inner fires
nor can I offer everything, as ritual requires

But I can say with all my heart I love you as my own
and wish that I were there that you might never walk alone
It’s little that I tender, just a few well chosen words
and yet I spend them gratefully in hopes they will be heard

We cannot have a future as my future has been spent
We cannot nestle by a stream, there will be no event
We cannot run away one day and dance about the moon
but I can sing this song to you, this promissory tune

I pledge to love you always, with a shoulder or an ear
I pledge to give you comfort, when you call I will draw near
I swear I’ll always tell you true, and never break your heart
I love you dear my bonny lass, as best I can, apart

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Happy Tree

The questions seemed innocuous enough. “If you were a tree” one asked, “would you be a happy tree or one smitten with clinical depression?” How else would I answer after all? How many happy trees have you met?

It was a new thing, they’d said; testing the personalities of the entire populous would benefit America in so many ways, they’d postured. “Why within the first decade of a child’s life we will have enough information from them to determine an education and career path, thus creating a huge advantage in the command of global markets!”

Making the testing retroactive was a late idea. It hadn’t made sense to test people well established in life if the reasoning behind the idea was to develop a direction for each citizen before they’d had time to sample the fruits of freedom. We fought its passage, but lost of course. And so, here I am in a Reconsiderance facility, my thought patterns deciphered, my grey matter modification about to begin. Perhaps I should have answered “Happy Tree!”

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Non Identical Twins

 The Importance of Knowing One's Audience

She was true royalty, though few beyond myself would avoid laughing at the concept. Her name, or closely enough, was Princess Ylena Natasha Chehovsky and she was mad as a hatter. She, a hippy and I, a biker, were part of the same drug culture and met while plying our trades.

For many years we flirted while never stepping through the ring of fire. We lost track of each other for a decade, my life twisting down a dry road and hers simply twisting. Upon our accidental reunion at a local coffee shop, she notified me that we belonged together, that we had gotten close to consummating many times throughout our many histories but alas, had never taken that final step. She was not wholly concerned in that if it didn’t happen in this lifetime, it would in the next, or the next.

As if a largemouth bass, I took the bait, she set the hook and we were one… for a few months at least. The end came once we’d played “introduce the girlfriend to the parents” day, and she spent an hour explaining to them the intricacies of dealing cocaine.



To Die on a Dare

Great gaping windows stood side by side, relieved of all but a few shards of their glass, tattered piss yellow sheers whipping in and out on the cold autumn wind. The peeling clapboards rattled and hissed as their rusted nails bent to the task of holding fast that which screamed to escape. Each step I took creaked a word or two of warning, of painful memory.

Samuel said two boys had died here long ago, alone, afraid, cowering against bloody basement walls. But Sam had also said his sister liked me, and that was obviously a bald faced lie. 


Still…

There was no choice really. I had bet I was the better long distance spitter, and had lost. This was the penalty, and if my dad had taught me anything it was that a Maloney never fudged on a bet, no matter the consequences.

I would need to run to the basement, touch all four walls and run back. I only hoped my flashlight would last the entire way. I clenched my fists and ground my teeth, kicked softly at the open door which swung out of the way with a low shriek, and stepped inside old man Cragney’s house.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dog and Butterfly

I had been dozing on their couch. I guess it had been 5 or 6 hours since I’d passed out drunk, but I’d still not have guessed that the sound of a doorknob being carefully turned would wake me. The radiant light from a fish tank in the far corner of the room illuminated the air just enough that I could see her moving toward me, dressed in nothing but a gauzy nightgown. I was in no shape to make conversation so I pretended to be asleep while I watched her through my lashes. She pulled up the ottoman and sat within a few inches of the couch, then watched me breath for what seemed like forever. I was flattered, particularly since her husband was asleep in the next room it seemed a little risky to “admire me” at that moment. But I hadn’t understood the real risk until she reached for my belt...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Size Does Indeed Matter

 For the prompt: Battery life


“I don’t like it”, Mary said, her eyes sparking an angry blue.

“I’m sorry honey”, Bill replied, “there’s nothing I can do about it. As I’ve told you a hundred times, I was assigned. It’s my size dear, I was born for certain tasks.’

“But you could be a torch!” Mary was shouting now. She knew it was a fight she couldn’t win, but as a niner, she didn’t have the capacity to hold it in. “I’m sure there’s a music device that could use you!”

“Every other job has been miniaturized sweetest, there’s just not that many services a C class guy like me can perform. I know it’s distasteful, but thank your anodes this particular device’s size is regulated by the size of its end user! It’s about the only gadget I can think of that were it made much smaller, it would have no real purpose! And everyone needs a job my love!”

Mary understood. It was just, just so damned annoying. “Alright dear, go to work. I’ll have the trickle charger ready when you get home.”

Bill gave his cute little 9 volt wife a kiss goodbye, jumped out of their packaging and rolled across the nightstand and to his employer’s door. “Hey Harry” he said as his partner squeezed inside the module first. “How’s it goin Bill” Harry replied; “ready to have your electrolyte turned to butter?”

“Har de har” Bill said as he followed Harry, slipping himself into the ‘Magic Rabbit” vibrator and twisting shut the lid from the inside.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Of Origami Pachyderms



Behold the mighty battle twixt the massive and the mule
Where one is nearly sound asleep, the other, quite a tool
They thrash it out before a crowd, the language takes a licking
Their Teflon armor does its part; the truth is kept from sticking

A second match, combatants meet to wrangle with domestics
The donkey comes prepared this time, his discourse is majestic
The carnage is distributed, but mostly to the masses
The gladiators fill the room with hyperbolic gasses

A third debate! An offshore chat of cabbages and kings
Of terrorism play by play and bomblets bearing wings
The middlewoman takes her shot at nailing down one fact
The heavy’s folk bemoan the slight, “Our Leader was Attacked!”

And so the combat ended, all was left to public whim
The people gathered to their causes, dispositions grim
Now in the end the Donkey won, the others’ hopes were vapor
Because it seems that all along, their elephant was paper

Another Match of Mellifluous Melodramas

Romance Roulette

There was just something about him. He was cute enough; in fact quite handsome by anyone’s measure. He was certainly neat, almost natty as her history teacher Mr. Hollowell would call the 1930’s gangsters he was always going on about. He seemed kind and polite and friendly enough. Hell, he was nearly perfect if she thought about it, as compared to most of the boys her age who had asked her out. But there was just something, something she couldn’t put her finger on, something that made her skin tighten whenever he smiled at her too long. So Nancy declined his offer to see a movie and go for a drive in his Volkswagen Bug. She’d leave Ted Bundy to the other girls, she was not willing to trust him over her instinct no matter how silly it was. 



A Wrong Turn at Pubertyville 

I’d spent every minute of my formative years in search of enjoyment. I was a true hedonist in training, there was almost nothing beyond my reach whether age appropriate or not. In fact the word appropriate was not in my vocabulary. Booze? I had a half gallon of cheap wine every Friday night and refilled the bottle with half vodka and half orange juice for Saturdays; and if I were rich I’d do the latter again and add a splash of Galiano for the Sabbath. Sex? I’d started at the age of 13 and though I didn’t brag about my encounters, I knew I was keeping up with my peers because they did. Drugs? Barbs, meth, coke, smack, enough acid to bring Freud back to life. What about school? School you say? Now there was a distraction…

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lost in Seritonia

Life was quickly becoming boring. All that happiness, all the pleasure, it was all just a bit much. Everything had been going fine for way too long, in fact so much so that I could hardly remember the last time I’d wallowed in the mire of a good depression. What I needed was a little angst to get stuck in my throat so I could choke a bit, sputter out a few expletives, dress my bed with the comforter of self pity that I might sleep more comfortably underneath the weight of the congealed mass of my lifetime’s misfortunes and give the least of my friends the golden parachute they desired that they might leave me forever and still blame me for their action.

I began where all good deep thinking is done, on the toilet. Sure, it sounds vulgar, but where else can one sit without distraction for as long as “it” takes?

First I pictured all those people that have done me wrong, hoping that I could kick start my misery without having to delve into my own faults. Let’s be honest, everyone wants someone else to lay their troubles on, if it weren’t for the cruelty of the human beast we wouldn’t be so sad, true? Pas tout à fait?

It was a little hard to get a visual, there are so many guilty creatures the montage stretched on for a half mile (in the brain one inch equals ¼ mile, in case you’re in the same position one day) I can’t really remember an earlier slight than when Nicky Olsen bashed my head into my home’s concrete stoop when I was four, so in spite of the fact that I’m instinctively positive I was done dirt well before my fourth birthday, my first photo was of Nicky. I drew a mustache on it immediately, though that resulted in my giggling which was counterproductive.

Once the wall of shame was intact, I rifled through the images as if they were rolodex pages, each picture causing a physical reaction to the memory leaving me a tic ridden floppy rag by the time I’d reached the present. Still, not one creep shot to the fore, not one scourge so overpowered the rest that I was able to pluck him or her from the maelstrom and allow the wound they’d inflicted upon my tender sensibilities to reopen and fester properly. So I was forced to concentrate my efforts on the most vicious of my attackers, my ex wives.

I thought and thought and thought some more about all the rotten things these two had done to me while I was putty in their wicked hands, and I must admit I came up with enough anecdotes to fill a black hole and had some left over with which I might be able to mix up a paste and coat the surface of the sun. But still, as hard as I squeezed that sponge of the collected tears of years gone by, I could not eke out enough venom to poison me. I’d never have thunk it, they’ve always been a mainstay of my misery, why they’re the capital G in my Gloom! And yet, I was driven to move on, before I lost all feeling in my legs.

So I turned to old reliable, inward, to the mass of cherry jello I like to call… ME. I do suck after all, there was little doubt in my mind that I’ be able to find suitable petards with which to hoist myself toward the ever cloudy sky.

I tried to lay out all my mistakes, like dominoes, the stupid ones butted up against the stupid ones and then the creepy ones touching the other creepy ones. The problem was there were too many categories. Even alphabetizing was going to be a pain, given that my feet were already asleep, so I just whizzed through a few assuming it wouldn’t take more than a dozen or so to set me on the downward spiral.

Starting with the wimpiest of self aggrandizements like ”could have been a pro hockey player, but can’t skate… you MORON!” and working my way up to heavy hitters like “forgot to pay your bills last month cuz you were busy havin a heart attack cuz you still smoke cuz you’re such a miserable creep, you MORON!” I attempted to spring the trap that would eventually drag me down, funkify my days, deliver me to wretchedness, amen. But, nothing worked. I called myself every name in the book, I admitted every fault, exposed every secret, railed upon every blemish and… nothing. Just shrugs. Just, “yea, so what”s.

What the hell was wrong with me I wondered? Had I lulled myself into some horrifying complacency? Had the infectious pod people who spend their days smiling and clapping each other on their backs finally broken through my immune system and filled me with the same disease they share? The dread… positivity?

I had only one place to turn. Hobbling, as both feet and my right leg were now devoid of blood altogether, I found my wife, and saying nothing but only that which can be expressed by the eyes, pleaded with her for an answer to my dilemma.

“You took your Prozac this morning, didn’t you” she said matter of factly.

SHIT! I HAD! DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT! A pox on Eli Lilly for ruining my life!

I wrote myself a note. “DO NOT TAKE PROZAC THIS MORNING!” and taped it to the inside of the medicine cabinet. I only hoped I would be able to read upon waking, or this nightmare would begin again!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Retinal Conflagration

It made him cold, it gave him pause, he suffered ever more
as a mind’s eye can’t unsee things, and this shook him to the core
He wished he’d never been there on the scaffolding that day
when he’d spotted dear old Santa near undressed and makin hay

It was bad enough to find out now that Santa Claus was real
he’d assumed the myth a children’s tale with family appeal
but he found St. Nick a lecher, with an escort in his lap
clad in nothing but a union suit, and with an open flap

Oh he’d almost lost his cookies on that darkest day of all
there was Santa with a hooker, in a dirty men’s room stall
Say your prayers you never see it, hope that luck is on your side
For you never want to witness what the window washer spied

A Pair of Ludicrous Follies

 A Torch to Light the Way

As the chief executive officer of Mortimer and Schmidtz, Geoffry was absolutely responsible for the collapse of the economies of at least half of all of the developing world. His greed was unmatched, his cleverness, renowned. Having created two dozen of the most toxic derivatives known to the financial sector and focusing their sales exclusively on third world countries, he had almost singlehandedly raped a billion people for no other reason than to flex his egotistical muscles. In the end, Geoff was a beacon of avarice, a brilliant light marking the separation between civilized and carnivore. At least he was for about an hour. I’d never have guessed a human being could burn that long when I first set his pants aflame…


Arizona Lawman
(An homage to the Sheriff Arpaios of the world)

It was my fourth traffic stop of the day and I almost hadn’t made it. I was tired of being nothing more than a revenue stream for the county. I had become a sheriff in order to meet a higher purpose. So when the Harley roared past me I damn near let it go. But as always my sense of duty got in the way of my need to protest and I set out after the biker, siren blaring. It wasn’t until he’d pulled to the shoulder and I’d made my way to his side that I noticed this would be more than a speeding ticket issue. At the first sight of tentacles squirting from beneath his full face helmet I knew I would need to arrest him under the newly passed illegal alien legislation. “You’re not from around here mister” I said as I pulled my gun. “Mrlffrotnel Bishuopp” he shouted and pointed to the sky. There was no need to ask him for papers. Even if he had ‘em, I knew they’d be forgeries.