Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: A Pact with a God

“I’m not like your other gods. I don’t care how they work or what pacts you’ve made with them. My offer is simple: I will intervene. No one will die in another car crash or house fire. I will step in and swat down every bullet fired by thief and soldier. I will stop your two greatest killers: your ignorance and your malice. Until now you’ve cursed gods when so much was your own fault: God didn’t build the bridge below code, and He certainly didn’t ignore its maintenance. Man did. Man is at fault when the road falls out from under a car. Man sets more deaths in motion by not paying attention than all the tornados and thunderstorms gods brew. And Man’s most certainly at fault when he declares war on his neighbors. But I’ll save you from all this foolishness. In return I’ll ask only one little thing: every year when autumn begins, you kill one child at my altar. One explicit murder and I’ll stop a million accidental deaths. If you try to kill a second child, I’ll stay the knife in your hand. The one autumnal girl will be the only who dies by mortal hand a year. Think it over. I’ll be listening for your prayers.”

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bathroom Moologue: While he fixes his collar

“Hey Layla.”

“Yeah Frank?”

“It’s Friday.”

“Yeah it is, lover boy. Bring that check home and we’ll party tonight.”

“I been noticing something.”

“Yeah Frank?”

“Seems every Friday I cash my paycheck and come home. Somehow within an hour we get into a fight and you storm out with the money. You stay out all night spending it. The next day we start to make up, so that we’re in good together again by the time I go to work Monday.”

“How dare you insinuate that about me! If my mother heard you -!”

“Hey, don’t go off on me. I’ve got to be at the docks in ten minutes. Besides, I’m not saying you’re playing my fiddle.”

“Then why would you say those horrible things?”

“See, I signed us up for couple’s therapy. First meeting is tonight after work gets out.”

“Frank, we’re not that bad.”

“Yeah, but it’s less expensive this way. Plus this insures I get to go out. See you at six.”

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Why Curling Rules

-It’s a winter sport people play in t-shirts.

-It’s an ice sport people play in sneakers.

-It’s one of the few sports that makes even less sense in slow motion replays.

-My wife hates it but the brat cries if she changes the channel. She’s forced to watch it and finally feel how I do every American Idol season.

-What the Hell is up with the brooms? Is it for when the ice melts, to sweep away the water? Why would they use them from the beginning, then? Is it for friction, to melt the ice and make it even more slippery? Is it to scuff up the ice and give it traction? They seem to use the same brooms to do all those things! Not knowing makes it even more fascinating when they get so intense with their sweeping.

-It’s like bowling if the pins were frozen underground and other people took turns throwing balls at your ball.

-No honey, you can’t put on E! Curling’s still going and it’s not the brat’s bedtime yet, is it?

-Games go way longer than they need to! There are, like, ten rounds! Each one’s a whole game. Why play ten? I don’t know. But they’re hypnotic.

-The Olympic players still all look like dudes! Not Basketball giants or the gymnasts who look like they missed two stages of puberty. One of the German throwers looks like Peter Venkman from Ghostbusters!

-What’s that? Idol’s about to end and you missed the whole thing? Let’s ask the brat if you can check who got eliminated during the commercials.

-Seriously, how do they not fall when they’re running sideways on ice? Why wasn’t the first Olympic sport?

-Hurling rocks should be supported in all its forms.

-What do you think curls in this game?

-No, she’s not asleep. Are you honey? No, you want a soda? Yeah, you want a soda.

-Venkman’s going to win! Who you gonna call!

-No, no she can stay up later! It’s a school night but she’s got Gym first period. You don’t think in Gym and it’ll wake her up. No! No… Fine. Idol.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Janitor Saves Mummy

“I’m supposed to be on lunch break,” said the janitor as he opened the door with his security key.

It was a fairly clean bathroom, aside from the mummy lying belly-up on the tile floor. One thickly wrapped and yellowed hand was yanking on the emergency chord, meant for handicapped people in distress.

“I don’t want to explain why,” the mummy said with more pretension than anyone, alive or dead, should be able to muster lying belly-up in the bathroom. It pointed at its left foot, which jutted up in the air. Some its wrapping had come loose and wound up in the toilet paper dispenser. The mummy jerked its leg, showing that the wrapping was wadded up so thickly in there that the roll was stuck.

“I don’t want to talk about it. I will tip you fifty dollars if you can get me out of this without anyone knowing.”

“Fifty dollars? I can work with that,” said the janitor, taking out his screwdriver and closing the door behind them. “This happens to more people than you think.”

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: A Win or a Gas

"One of the tests at camp was putting out a fire using a can of gasoline. That was a mean one. You got kids panicking, dumping the gas on the fire hoping it would magically work like water. The lucky boys only lost their eyebrows. Some tried to draw a line with the gas, to make the fire follow them out of the room. That was a similar disaster, as the fire kept spreading every which way it wanted, only doing moreso in the direction of the boy with the can. When it was my turn, I just brought the flat end of the can down on top of the flames. Smothered it right away. The councilor flipped out like I was going to blow myself up, which in hindsight I take as a victory. They never gave me my badge. No idea how you’re supposed to do it.”

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Invisible Harness

I made the harness you see in all those videogames. You don’t recognize it because it’s invisible after you put it on, but it’s the most versatile paraphernalia storage system since Batman’s belt. You just stick something back there and the Arbitrary Gravity Field stays in place. Look at your favorite games. Resident Evil 5? Guns are floating all over his back and the knife is sheathed at an angle no man could unsheathe comfortable. Devil May Cry? Body-height broadsword just hanging out, not even a snap to hold it in place. God of War? Kratos’s magic chain blades detach from their shackles and hang out like little fairy wings. And whenever these people get thrown to the ground, their guns never discharge and their naked blades don’t shred their flesh. That’s not natural. That’s my handiwork. I’m the guy who made it possible for heroes to stash their weapons as implausibly as they pleased, and for developers to stop rendering backpacks and holsters. Once real world governments stop being so cheap, real world armies will get the same. They’ll have to find their own lightning swords, though.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Strange Case of East Parish at Alienskin Magazine

My story, "The Strange Case of East Parish," is up over at Alienskin Magazine this month. They're a wonderful site that encourages new and emerging writers alongside giants like Orson Scott Card.

"The Strange Case of East Parish" by John Wiswell is the story of a peculiar zombie. Locked in a confessional at the outbreak, he was isolated from all the others. What is a zombie like if its never known the herd? And what would you do with him? This story is one case study.

Because Alienskin Magazine doesn't have a Comments section, any comments and feedback are welcome on this post.

You can read the story here:
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