Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Slice

Always served a little too cold, though the stale smell of suburbia is so common you may mistake it for fresh. The crust is thin and flaky, buttered and glazed as though the cook thought she would fool you with its appearance. Cut from the whole, it immediately loses shape, triangle collapsing, filling dribbling out the sides. The juice is thick and red, sweetened with aspirations put off too long, congealed with a suspicion of greater meaning. There are innumerable fruits to it: crunchy little relationships, pudgy occupationals, and big fat failure berries. No forkful is the same, though critics complain about culinary monotony. Discontent is a fad both in food criticism and post-modernism. Still, if you can appreciate that you get served at all, a typical slice of life is pleasant.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Thoughts Down from 40,000 Feet

At 40,000: “The handle totally doesn’t move. It’s locked. I’ll bet you a tequila it doesn’t.”

At 39,997: “Son of a bitch!”

At 39,000: “Oh my God, it is fucking cold up here.”

At 38,000: “Oh my God, I’m going to die.”

At 36,000: “Oh my God, it is fucking cold up here. I wonder if I’ll shatter when I hit the ground.”

At 33,000: “If I spread out my limbs I’ll slow down. I can survive this.”

At 32,500: “If I curl up into a ball it’s a fuck of a lot warmer.”

At 32,000: “Curling into a ball will protect me too, right? I can tuck and roll when I reach the ground.”

At 31,000: “Rationalizing is dangerous.”

At 29,000: “Would I rather die? Or land, have all my bones pulverized, and be a human ball of goo in a wheelchair forever? Like Stephen Hawking but dumb?”

At 26,000: “Why doesn’t everyone on an airplane wear a parachute? The tickets are really expensive.”

At 25,000: “How much does a parachute cost?”

At 24,000 “My shirt could stretch out into a sweet parachute. I’ll float to safety and look damn sexy on some random local news program.”

At 23,950: “Well that failed.”

At 23,900: “Oh my God, it is fucking cold up here.”

At 22,000 “Why didn’t I dare Jake to pull the lever instead?”

At 20,000: “If I studied for half an hour per test, and had at least one test every two weeks, in at least six classes per year, from first grade through high school…”

At 18,000 “I spent over a thousand hours reading boring shit in my life and none if it is going to stop me from hitting the ground. Teachers are paid too much.”

At 17,000: “I wonder if they’ll have a funeral.”

At 16,700: “I wonder if Jenifer will be there. I wish I’d hit that.”

At 16,500: “Jenifer totally wouldn’t let me hit that.”

At 16,100: “Jenifer totally would let me hit that now that I’m dead. Why can’t I get pre-emptive grief sex?”

At 13,000: “I wonder if my mortician is secretly a necrophiliac. They’ve all got to be, right? Why else would you hang out with dead bodies.”

At 12,500: “I wonder if I’ll get a mortician. A wet-vac makes more sense.”

At 12,000: “God, if you save me I’ll totally start going to church. Just answer this prayer.”

At 11,500: “‘No’ is not a viable answer to this prayer.”

At 11,000: “Unless they have my funeral in a church, in which case I’ll have gone to church even if you say ‘No.’”

At 10,900: “You’re a crafty one, God.”

At 10,000: “Oh man those are pine trees? And all the little cars. Life really does look like a Godzilla movie from up here. I thought they just had shitty budgets.”

At 9,000: “It would be really sweet to be Rodan right now.”

At 8,000: “It would be really sweet to be any kind of creature that can fly right now.”

At 7,000: “No, Rodan is the sweetest.”

At 6,000: “Is this really all I have to think about before I die?”

At 5,000: “I wish I was more sad. Maybe I’m a sociopath.”

At 4,000: “They will totally call me a sociopath. I opened the door on a freaking plane.”

At 3,000: “Dad will just call me a moron.”

At 2,000: “Fuck you, Dad.”

At 1,500: “I wonder if this would be more impressive if I was born a hundred years ago. No TV and special effects movie bullshit making crazy shit seem unimpressive.”

At 500: “Nah. They didn’t have planes back then.”

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Demotion of Pluto

Not enough mass, too short a radius, too much ice. There were other celestial bodies nearly the same size, and it wasn’t doing anything about it. Few understood the demotion of Pluto, and fewer appreciated it. Petitions emerged, millions of people who had never been to an observatory demanding Pluto was a planet. A full planet, not a “dwarf planet.” There were seven dwarves and none of them were Mickey Mouse’s dog. It was plain logic. But science made like Atlas, and shrugged. Atlas was silent. Pluto’s sky toppled in protest.

But one man found it all convenient. The debate was settled out of court, off campus, no scientists asked or equations answered. The demotion was convenient, as full planets cost a lot. Governments want to land on them, plant flags and dreams. You can buy a planetoid on the cheap. Our intrepid investor landed first, signed the papers, and planted his sign.

“Welcome to Planet Pluto.”

So said the ownership. Whether your science said one thing and somebody's math said another, branding put the official name on it. Economics solved the controversy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

He'll Be Back

first-ever cyborg
felt winter's chill, laid back down,
and switched himself off.

(This haiku originally appeared in SciFiKuest. First paid sale I ever had.)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Ghouls, Ghouls!

The man wrapped his brown fingers around the bars of his cell. He slammed his body into them until they rattled.

"Ghouls, ghouls!” he yelled at them. “The dead are rising from shallow graves in an army that honors to debt made in life. High-born and casteless shamble together across the islands, eating the flesh of any who stray too close. They devour bird, buck and man alike. Any who survive their feast fall sick and rise like them. It is a plague of carrion that has already wiped out three of the islands. They do not stop, feel pain or drown. They walk off the edge of the island, plunging into the sea, not a single body floating. For days it seems like it is over, but they walk along the basin. Soon it is as though the ocean is afraid and alive with gooseflesh, a thousand scalps rising along the shoreline. They come dressed as their loved ones buried them, not listening to reason or threat.”

The man drew himself up, pinkshot eyes imploring at his jailers.

“If we don't stop them they'll finish the archipelago and come here!"

"That's fucking ridiculous," said the succubus. She returned the cell keys to her belt. "I eat dead souls. If there was a roving buffet I'd have gotten an invite."

She turned to the wraith deputy, who had no rational objections. They linked arms and walked out the cell block, leaving the man to rant about his ‘living dead.’

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Not a Slut, OR, Bafflingly inspired by A League of Their Own, OR, I’m awful

"They say you're a slut."

She smirked into her cigarette-holder. "Do they?"

"Why do you cheat on your husband so bad? I seen you with a man a night at least every night since the war started."

"That's not cheating."

"I bet your fella wouldn't agree."

"You never met my Hatiel. Before he went off to fight he said I'd miss him sore since he was the best I'd ever have. Dared me to try every man I found until he got back."

"That's the most twisted thing I've ever heard."

"Then listen to this."


She sighed from her diaphragm, blowing smoke out the window. "I can't wait for him to get back. He was right."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Anyone Can Do Malaise Redux - The Audio

Cathy Webster won our Third Anniversary contest. She requested I record an audio of this oldie, "Anyone Can Do Malaise." To hear the audio version either click the triangle on the left to begin streaming or click this text to download the MP3.

Dear Professor Hannaford,

I spent two hours last night trying to co-write a piece with Ed like you assigned. I wrote one paragraph, then he did the second, and so-on. In two whole hours he ruined every story, leaving it unwritable. I cannot work with this man any further. I am attaching our last co-written piece below as an example.

I went first.


The popcorn chicken is too cold. Hot outside, but a squeeze shows it's frozen in the middle. I poke some buttons and add a few minutes to the timer. In the next room some guy who sold me a magic mop that didn’t work is selling something that has to do with X-Rays and hospital visits. Somewhere, someone coughs.

Out of nowhere an armored transport smashes through the wall! It crushes my stupid microwave oven. Popcorn chicken bits get stuck between the treds and fling up at me in all kind of crazy slow motion before the transport totally crushes me! Oh my God, the humanity! Armored commandos ignore my lame emo carcass as they jump out the back to secure the room. Let freedom reign!
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