Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: A Big Hand

The giant protested. He wasn't at fault for the president's broken ribs: the host had asked to give him a big hand.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: The Children of Cinema Lane

Frank was a giant child. Given a bucket of candy and a DVR, he settled in for a night of movies. It was up to Lenore to hand out the treats this year. She adjusted the feathered skirt of her raven costume and paced the hall, excited to see what the kids of Cinema Lane were up to this year.

The first ring came at 7:00 sharp, the doorbell chiming along with the seventh ring of their grandfather clock. She hustled to the door, smoothed her feathers, pulled it wide with a smile.

"Trick or treat!" came a little girl's voice.

Lenore had to look down to see her. At her feet, on top of the WELCOME mat, sat a Samsonite briefcase. She quirked her head at it until the double-locks trembled with anticipation.

She asked, "What are you?"

It haunted its latches open, babbling, "I'm top-of-the-line luggage!"

"Yes, you are," she told the ghost-child, dropping two Reese's inside her vessel. It rotated its sliders in greeting bobbled off to the sidewalk.

Lenore closed the door and affixed the candy basket to the wall. Yet no sooner did she move to return to the den and Frank's zombie marathon, then the doorbell rang a second time.

She put on a smile and pulled open the door. A sapling waited on her stoop. All its limbs were curled inward, save two, which extended straight out to its right. A hat hung from the upper one. A suit jacket hung from the lower one.

She pursed her lips. Probably the evil tree's kids. She could make out its parents hiding conspicuously in the forest across the street.

"Trick or treat," said the sapling.

She asked, "And what are you?"

"I'm a coat rack."

Its limbs rustled, revealing a candy bag hidden under the suit jacket. When Lenore leaned in to hand over the Reese's, she noticed the fine tailoring. Not the sort of thing a family of trees typically had around for costume games.

"Very inventive," she praised, and off the sapling swayed. She closed the door and frowned into it. Behind her, some shellshocked blonde screamed about how 'they' had eaten her brother. Frank and his incessant love of the undead.

The doorbell rang. She fixed herself and answered. She recognized the little bastard immediately; the teen wolf from up the street, the one who was howling at his own music too often. He was well-mannered tonight, his fur stuffed into a trousers and a dress shirt. There was a red tie around his neck. Since his paws couldn't manage a Windsor, it was left in a loose shoelace knot.

"Good evening, Michael."

"Trick or treat!" he announced, paws thrusting a pillow case into the threshold.

"Aren't you a little old for this?"

"Never too old for free candy!"

Wolves always looked like they were smiling, so she couldn't read much into his expression. She narrowed her eyes at his attire instead.

"And what are you this year?"

"Huh?" He said. His muzzle dipped over his dress shirt like he was making something up. "Me? I'm, uh. I'm the one percent!"


"It's topical!" He nodded to assure her and re-presented the pillow case. She gave him one Reese's. When he hesitated for more, she gave him a gorgonic glare. Away the boy trotted for the next decorated doorstep. She waddled down behind him, peering first down the street, then up.

She made out a lone car parked half a block up. One door was open, all the windows lit. There was no driver.

She sighed before trotting up to her house. Inside, she shouted to the television room.


Her answer was the sound of panicked survivors boarding up a farm house against droves of the undead.

"Franklin Einstein, I know you can hear me."

The volume muted. In the stillness, his deep timbre responded, "Yes, dear?"

"Go check up the street for me. I think the neighbor kids ate another stock broker."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: The Dark Lord's Rayment

The fibres were harvested from wildebeests and werewolves. It was dyed in the blood of warlocks, each slain because he was born on this day, so that whosoever wears it will inherit their power. The tinted lenses in the mask enable the owner to peer into other realms of reality, protecting him from astral predators. In his case, wielding a whip fashioned from the Devil's own tail, such vision will allow him to ensnare the invisible predators to his will. For a mere $13.99, he will become the dark lord of this town.

That is how it seems to John Wiswell, age eleven, standing in the costume aisle of the local department store.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: Anatomical Model of a Mind

Every day she took her lunch to the lab and ate with the anatomical model. He had crap bone structure, was plastic and afforded no conversation, but there was a sense of solidarity with him. He didn't stare. He didn't graffiti her office door. He didn't go behind her back to argue that her presence debased the very neuroscience she taught here. The anatomical model didn't know that she had feelings, but neither did her fellow professors. They thought without grey matter in her head that Ms. Skeleton was just some calcium-based robot, an illusion of a person. Many lunch hours she cried over it. Tearlessly, of course, since skeletons didn't have tear ducts. Tearing down academia's prejudices against non-fleshy human beings was so hard.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: Clothes Make the Man

His pants split at the crotch. In the middle of a firefight with the Motley Brothers, crouched behind what was a surveillance vehicle, the cotton gives way and ruptures from belt buckle to ass cheeks. In a moment, his tighty-whities are exposed to his superiors.

For the first time in four months he reflects. Those pants cost more than what he made in a year at the old job. You could sell all the ties his father ever wore and not come up with half of what his current one costs. No one in his family can even spell the material his vest is made out of. It saves his life twice before he falls over.

The shoulder-holster strains against his pectorals. Its that too-tight model that had reminded him for four months that he has two man-killers strapped to him at all times. Reaching for the steering wheel. Reaching for his wallet to pay for coffee. Even reaching to take a piss abrades the bicep, reminds the arm and alerts the hand that it has stopping power at its call.

He feels that memory course through his muscles. It's so thick that he has the second gun drawn before he has finished bouncing off the pavement. He rises, sweat evaporating through an imported porous button-down so that he can only smell a hint of himself as he draws a bead on Frank Motley. In a twitch, he will become the funniest story their outfit has ever heard. The man who slew a drug lord with his ass showing into the wind. As the bullet travels, he can only think that the clothes really have made him this man.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: High Tech Problem. Low Tech Protest.

You made me buy the toothbrush I can’t run through the dish washer

You made me want to take my phone to places it won’t work.

You made my kid sit inside on a sunny day, complaining that there’s nothing on.

So I’m writing this in a marble composition book. It doesn’t matter if all composition books are digital illusions I pay monthly fees to experience. This is a low tech protest.
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