December 30th, 2010 -- "Galaxies from Kitchen Spice"

"Galaxies from Kitchen Spice"

Belinda held her magnificent hands in the bright, soft light over the dish, her large bands and bangles jangling half-dull, heavy with gold as she worked, sparkling with all manner of earthly jewel, clinking rich with music as if to accompany, seeming forever timeless in the air in the night with the precious, imbued quality of old jewelry.

The children watched as the old woman they had known for years as the quiet, curious merchant in the corner apartment; as the old, kind, storied woman seemed to take hold of the dusty swirl of colorful, glowing, desert spices with invisible strings, things drawing impossible, fragile power from her fingertips and connecting to the edges of the matter in the bowl.

She paused for a moment in the light of the dish and the candles, as if to steady or remind herself - all of this warm, mind you, all of this calm and serene and nearly melodic under the full moon beaming bright, cool blue through the window, the stuff on the plate spinning idly in cosmic circles, every so often a bit of it flaring up with the light sound of a burning leaf and grouping together in a spitball of bright, tiny light, the feathers of fire reaching thin from the tips of candles in the corner glowing orange on the surfaces of rich emeralds, the entire room a soft, vital red.

She spread her fingers wide and lifted the thing with magic unknown to the children. Like a small tent, the tiny dunes of kitchen flavoring rose high above the plate into a new dimension. Now, what had previously been an incredibly flat pool of dry magic took life as the fired dust expanded and broke free in its small form from the thin strings to build out into a small, living galaxy.



December 24th, 2010 -- "Walter's Dapper Holiday"

Tinsel. Silver tinsel and egg-shaped bulbs. Bright, metallic garlands run with tinsel draped over blinking glass. Shimmering, spidery rivers of plastic ornaments in bounding rows. Hooping arrangements of colorful, ornate globes. The mysterious, glowing caverns found in the warm gaps near the trunk of the thing. Thin strings of stale, blooming popcorn. The clear smell of candy canes and evergreen. His suit, neat and mauve. The grandfather clock in the shady corner by the window facing out to a holiday parade on main street floors below, 4pm.



December 22nd, 2010 -- "Nathan Tyler, Ocarina of Time"

"Nathan Tyler, Ocarina of Time"

In an interview, Nathan Tyler once remarked that the quality of everything old-seeming to feel as if it had a fine layer of chalk, not dust or death, he said, but chalk, forms a fine example in the winter months, the months where the coldly bright and the awful wind draws everything out and thin, where the objective of most men is to appreciate the wet dark wood of the dead season from the dry inside, to keep the murk and the dreariness for the air of the wilds and to keep everything on the inside of things arid and hot with fire, there accentuating and perpetuating - or, rather, he went on to elaborate, continuing, preserving the effect of dry, clean, chalky, old, as he would have it, effects - old books, clean pages, dry socks, cool sheets that skiff above mattresses with the most complete of airy sounds.

He talked of days by the window, the days he would sit by the electric, breathy film of cool atmosphere near the dusty panes and wonder about the sheer amounts of sunlight bringing a cold, halved illumination to the boxy room. He would remark about the absurd glow of a world so frozen, the strangely alive light, he explained, that remains and pours outward when the world goes to sleep for months. All the while wondering this, he would, as he said, close in on the glass, real close, and keep his nose in the airy cold for long enough of a moment to feel the moisture bounce from the tip of his face to the window pane as frosty dew, small snowflakes that never make it. Tiny circles of human fog, he stated quite plainly, as if the thought had been with him for a while, would hug the outside through clear plate for some seconds before giving up and vanishing completely.

Once done with the interview, Nathan adjusted the left lapel of his wool coat and continued with his coffee.



December 20th, 2010

"The First of Ten Trillion"

With a fleshy, ozone burp, the small point of light in the center of the room spilled out of itself into a watery sphere of tight, light, liquid fire. Miles away, the windows of the seventy-second floor pulsed a strange, dull green, subdued by the UV screens of the laboratory's solar shields. By dawn, the planet would be no more than a small stream of molten solids in a huge, new sun, and the history of the two doctors' brief experiment with formula A would remain only in the scratchy, desperate radio transmissions sent last-minute and ahead of the initial, explosive pop and growl of the newly-formed star.

"....-hnson! Th-...-an't control th-.....slipping out of the d-sh! LOOK! LOO--..."



December 16th, 2010

"visions of 2025"

A cell phone rumbles on a wood desk in the close dark of a side bedroom, the air of it dry and hot. Stiff warmth from a small, clanking radiator vibrates off dusty paintmetal to make stuffy, invisible odors, air that hangs in the room like a quiet, tasteless soup. The dark is mixed by climbing, slanted, salty light that slides up, over, and through distant trees set far back behind sleeping houses, light in through dusty panes, flimsy like clear paper, cold and stuck in wood, a twinkling sunlight that doesn't bend or gather in pools on the plaster white of the far wall, far off blinks that code the morning in hot yellow on the cold black green of waving trees. The winter is the future.



December 9th, 2010

"10:34pm, on the 130th Floor of the Faucet Street Apartment Tower in Downtown Riverbank, HAN-ter01; October 28th, 2034"

On the night of the 28th - a Tuesday - it was cold, wet. Mona stood chilled in the modest back bedroom of her cube apartment and filled a brown suitcase as best she could with clothes. With each armful, she allowed the pile to dip down an inch and spring back up with a light, careless toss that seemed nearly pleasant, while Mona scrambled back to gather up shirts and paper and clothes hangers in a frantic, balled fist.

Outside, time was ticking bright in the clouds over the skyline of buildings blackened into silhouettes.

The other cities were quicker, she thought - went quicker. She had heard from her sister in 03. There was never any real warnings beyond rumors. It was said there was a light light, a tight shriek, a breath inward, a small, arterial pop, and you were gone, just like that, everyone gone. This idea did not sit well, and her ears popped lightly. She began to weep. More clothes.

The crowd in the square was much larger now, and the large displays showed maps and evacuation routes out of the city, the screens beaming bright, hot, purple slants of shifting glow through a sprayed mist on the surge of people too stupid or too stubborn to run. One woman flipped the screens the bird and shouted something awful, another looked skyward at a distinct kind of mindless nothing and wept, many others just watched - millions of glassy eyes in watery awe, a horde of the dead before dying in their city, their shouts and worries mixed together perfectly into a monotone song that, at a distance, could be mistaken for an ocean.

Mona's fingers hurt, were sliced and banged up in places where she wasn't careful. Her hands shook as she snapped the lid shut and grabbed the case. She hefted it with a certain amount of strength and, all at once, all of the lights in her apartment flicked off. Everything was, momentarily, very quiet and far off.

In the distance, the long sounds of losing power danced along down the street as, one by one, the impossibly large, steel brothers of the city switched off with huge, solid, thumping sounds. BUMPF! BUMPF! BUMPF! BUMPF!

Mona stood in her apartment at last, suitcase in hand, the effacement of accommodating light complete, the only light in her life now being that which hung in a shroud above the world, a choking smoke the color of pneumonia. The electric yellow light of weapons flashed distant and little on the horizon. The light, bumping sounds of explosions played a small symphony of lights in the sky.

She looked out the large plate of her front window and noted the crowd now darkened in the absence of power. So far down and confused, the sea rolled away in streams of running, some scared, some just very simply in a hurry.

The suitcase was heavy in her left hand. Her right hand lay still over her mouth, covering the inaudible expression of shock.




December 8th, 2010


Gray and small.
Brown with wet-looking spots of spiked, dry, and oily animal hair.
A small face with a small laugh.
Pearl teeth that grin past a small, simple, pitch-black smile.
A coat in the heat.
Two small, round ears the color of young coal.
Straight patches of long, white hairs that grow out of the head like thin sawgrass, trembling in fragile strands of body hair when it's time to run.
Small feet.
Padded bits of chocolate kisses that make tiny dashes in orange piles of earth.
Hot blood, glassy and red on the dog.



December 3rd, 4th, 5th, & 6th, 2010

"dreaming as the last bastion of good hope"

The thing was dead.

The brain of the thing, the silent thing, the metal, boxy, quiet figure of hot gold, sat clean and vibrating in wiry aluminum grips in the inside dark of the thing's head, hung firmly in place by tight, bright, dangling supports of thin metal. Accompanied within by a peculiarly sweet smell, like oranges, citrus, the brain of the thing on the inside of that thing's head twinkled with the microscopic and slow flashes of liquid, living glows, soft, mixed lights running in slow rivers as it dreamed warmly.

Better would be to say that the thing was not alive - animated, but not officially among the living; thinking, careful, aware of the world around it through synthetic endings of electric touch, but not of spontaneous life, not from the loins of humankind, but from instead its tables, from the categories of science that smash together to produce wildly imaginative ideas that end up thinking on their own.

Warm dreams. Dreams of flashing air and pumped stuff. The pleasant and screeching sounds from within a mind within a head within a box that produce heated light behind the things eyes. Animals. Bright, neon creatures - or, better, animations that dance in exotic leaps by fires in the dark. Wide open spaces and illusory landscapes that blow out time like a candle, leaving the thing alone in that world as a thing present. Spaces that stretch out and never stop expanding. A figure that twinkles in the lights of the dreams and observes.

A flicker, a twitch, the slow-rolling and tiny roars of enclosed motors brought to whirs, and the thing comes to life, giving rise to gold body and colored wire that lurches forward and up and out with a punch. Directives stream in ticker tapes that line the special kind of invisible in the air in front of it. Unknown servos make the arms and legs to move in fluid, jerky movements that betray the grace of the followed dream. Thick steams gush from vents with the sound of choking or puking, and the thing is gone in the violent display of hurried, directed action, the calm, singular voice of the dream swept for a time into the insignificant floats of nothing behind the something.


"9:32pm, McDonald's, Boston"

The large man stands in line in a sport jacket smelling strongly like after shave, his jacket frayed in random places to suggest some amount of calm time. He jiggles a wallet out of the back pocket of his worn, loose slacks and thumbs it open with a soft clap. He parts the middle and whispers out a few bills. All ones. Counting them twice, carefully, he stops for a breath of a moment that most would miss to do the worried math.

Is there enough?


"Sun and Lake"

All that is offered by the sun is left to spread in the early hour of the evening like milk across ripples of water.



The dust of the day rose up in puffs of vapor sand as the new river bolted from the gapped recesses where dynamite punched through mountainside. The clear cold of the west river pushed the sand into piles of slick mud and tore away layers of sediment to reveal the gleaming yellow of everything Rupert had bet his life and family on. He reached down, grabbed at the rusted buckle of his screening pan, and dismounted with tears in his eyes.



December 2nd, 2010

"Flight Simulation, 1998"

Larry stopped along the way to scratching the tip of his nose to tighten the sleeve loosely rolled one half of an inch above his left elbow. He reached over and grabbed at the cotton blue of the shirt, his aviator's watch catching white, glassy sunlight in a flat dial and sending it in an upward beam toward the cabin's padded, upholstered ceiling in a perfect circle. He grouped the handful of shirt into itself firmly, making a small, neat roll like a small, hallway runner, folded the unbuttoned cuff in toward his arm, and went on to scratch his nose as the small aircraft's engine breathed small, precise amounts of fire in a steady hum behind the cockpit's dash.

The divorce had been finalized last week. On the eve of his new life, Larry sat in a hotel room in Bangor, Maine with a TV Guide open in his lap. A warming cup of soda sat in a wet ring on wood by the desk lamp creating a dark, slick circle next to a pile of crappy, cork coasters.

He stared from bed at the soft, off-set, dark gray of the pulp newsprint pages in his lap as a phone pressed between his left ear and shoulder grew hot. The slanted, bright, yellow light from the hotel 60-watt in the lamp next to him lit the room up to his elbow and made everything else seem that much more dark. Every couple of minutes, Larry flashed the phone to keep it from blaring inactive in his ear as he waited to never make a call. Across from him and the bed, the large television set sat square and quiet in the entertainment center - off.

The plane bucked playfully as Larry brought it about thirty degrees to the east. The horizon glided in a tilt to the sky without any real weight, and light from the sun poured at angles that would seem strange in a room from the ground, with licks of soft, healthy light fingering their way in from the small, bullet windows to form pleasant bangles on objects throughout the cabin. The world shifted effortlessly beyond the glass, the sounds of it drowned out by the constant song of small-body flight.


November 30th & December 1st, 2010

"2:13PM in a Parking Lot in New England in the Winter"

The cold, bumpy iron of the dark gray handrail seemed to glow backwards in the shade of the roof's overhang as the bright snow behind it created a blanketing wet so complete, taking the place of everything dry. The air, thin, denied the fat and the warm of the world, fading the dark, black treeline across the lot into a velvet.

In bursts of time over the course of the afternoon, cars mumble to life under packed snow and let it all slide off like sweat.


"November Men"



November 29th, 2010 -- "Life in the Sun, 1894"

"Life in the Sun, 1894"

Todd placed his tools in the dirty dry of the wood bin, the heavy things hitting the cracking, splintering planks with a heavy metal clank, a hollow plop and metallic tumble as they rolled over each other awkwardly in a slide to the leaned side of the rusty cart, the dipped end frying in the sun and mixing in the brightness of it all in a near-white beige like a far off dynamite fire. Shade cut the shape of the box in sharp triangles that led off and out of the cart to the cooling ground beneath. Far off sounds of many bugs in heat filled the sweating air with an electric, living hum, a moving buzz with frantic shifts in tone, a sound with a smell.

It was 1894, he was thirty-six years old, and Grover Cleveland was the president of the nation. Todd had purchased the plot of land he was working as part of an expanded, free, labor deal that allowed for the buying of land on the cheap for the purposes of cultivating a thriving, rural economy in otherwise arid, tough regions - places of grit and salt, places where you grow things far in the damp ground deep down under the dry tops near the sun.

Potatoes. Peanuts. Legumes. Tubers. Candy from the planet that will turn a buck pretty slowly and steadily until there is no hot weather left in the tank, until the water from the world tosses itself up and into the air and comes back down in the frigid snap of winter as bright white, a hoary toss down a windy flume that puts all activity to sleep for months.

Sweating, Todd pulled liquid off the back of his neck with one hand while swiping away the cooling wet on his chest under the sun-bleached bandana around his neck. He pulled at the fingers of his gloves, took them off, clapped them together, and tossed them into the cart with the tools. Black, glossy leather and worn patches of light brown animal skin heated immediately in the bright in the back of the cart as Todd picked up the rig by the handles.

Two o'clock hot, wood wheels bolstered by plates and pins over blasted rocks, the shifting sounds of shoes that need a cobbler, dust-colored everything.

Todd walked home, ate an early supper, and spent the rest of the hot evening on the porch with a stinky pipe, smoking slowly and watching the nineteenth century count away before nightfall.


November 28th, 2010, not to mention some previously neglected works from the past two weeks or so...

"The Ocean as a Comfortable and Forced Transition"

The wonder in his mind and in his head in the sand by the sea was made huge by the tides of water lapping in hushed pulls as he sat - or, better - sank in sand, the sand the last smile of the land before cupping or being cupped by the ocean. The great sun in the sky screened the beach in a film of hazy, salt yellow that made everything leading to the water feel very close and very hot, made from some gel of the land, some firm, juiced air with a body smell and real weight, a substance that could be better used to describe the junk pulled away from sleepy eyes in the heat of a room before noon, the lisping smack of a morning mouth thick with old spit and the taste of yesterday's garlic.

He had arrived at a line of change, an event marked by the animated horizon of dark and clear, salty liquid, the line of the land with regard to the sea, the cut and overlap of old water made new by movement, all swirls of excited, bubbled air and swells of cold water from the blind, silent deep.

There was a freshness, here, a dark collection of pools bright cold above packed, ancient mud. In a line, the air changed from thick and close and buzzing to something ultimately cleaner, something more open on the water with a missing weight, a misty day of blue gray clean backed by the electric pop of light behind floating water. Walk into that water to cut the line and feel the halving, the distinct split from bright discomfort and entrance into a coldly spraying clean, a curing mist that would dew lightly on top of small arm hairs to mix temperatures with the traveling blood below.

Pulling himself up and out of the sticking sand, the man clapped the bumpy dust from his hands and thighs. He bladed away patches of itchy salt from tanned dips in his shoulder bones and thought about the long walk through land that had come to this line, this forced place where things change without so much of a plan to consider it expected or good or bad or anything subjective like that. White turned blue, hot into clean cool. He got to his feet and stretched, the sun swearing into his back and sweat with a gradual, burning yawn, the ocean ahead of him roaring in an impossibly large and flat pile of much and dark, comforting weight. He neared the edge, there a filling wind, the hinted connection to the streams of quick and moving whispers offshore that travel along waves in bumped trajectories, purposeless, completely benign and without forced direction. In with a dive.


November 14th - 27th, more or less...


November 15th, 2010 -- "Forever Celebrating"

"Forever Celebrating"

The blue black darkwater in the ocean turns emerald green and then white with a hush as it sweeps over dots of sand packed wet and hard in a flat cake to make up a salty ocean bar. The sky, a smack of pale, comfortable periwinkle, sits high and large and unobtrusively in the sky on the brink of the cosmos, playing as a kind of watcher, some kind of backdrop slapped back as far as it could be to hold everything that's real or far off in one large and blue sound that could not ever become confused or be confused for anything else.

The smells are everywhere. The churning of the ocean at the end of its lap, the salty smell of waves giving up to gravity and falling with a slap of water on rocks and sand. The cool smell, the clear smell of water dripping in the dark places between jetty breakers, the clear sting of the water's drop's life in a brief salt whiff before dropping in and mixing with everything forever. Everything is clear.

The young woman dressed in a warm-black swipe of deep and heated cloth stands barefoot in the drier piles of beige by the dunes, bits of lime green and dead grasses folded or twisted into soft bends that poke for a time through the soft of the beach earth before being shifted by clean feet that hang down naked from garments made for celebration. Some distance beyond the dunes are the beginnings of feasts being righted in circles of stone dug down inches into the salty shakes of the beach. Adults, groups of sweating men and focused women, gather in crouches by the bright beginnings of bonfires and add things in piles to smoke. They grab at ingredients with dark, smooth hands. For all the motion, there is hardly a sound above the constant sharing of the sea.

Above, a star gleams yellow through the dying soft blue of the mid-afternoon in a pinpoint and flickers in place to herald in the night.




October 28th & 29th, 2010 -- HALLOWEEKEND (and Thursday, plus two...)


By the time he had come to, the charring was complete.

The wrecked skeleton of the house leaned in on its foundation on the hill against the fading light of the surrounding, remaining bits of inferno in the backyard. Chokes of smoke puked up brown from the flooded basement, becoming an intense, blood red in the sky that hung for a while like a thick ceiling.

He sat up and leaned on one elbow. At last, it was over, and there were only a few points of horror left to remind him of what had almost gone terribly wrong - the rusty 1986 F150 in the driveway with its windows sprayed in gore; flicked, gold casings from the shootout; the damned, dead dog, that loud, yipping bastard. What once looked like a calm house nestled in a hill by Rt. 12 now looked unbelievably like the cratered battlefield of some far-off military nightmare.

He adjusted himself and ran the side of his hand up his arm, blading some stinking mud off his soaked shirt. He winced and bit down hard as the ball of his palm bounced out and on past a bad bullet graze. He grabbed at it hard, surprised at the warmth that spread over his hand as fresh blood poured through the gaps in his grip. His eyes closed hard on themselves as his mouth formed an unnatural grimace that almost resembled an insane smile. He jumped to his feet and starting punching his head and chest while bringing his body into a tight clench. Beads of sweat and mud and blood ran down his forehead and into his eyes and he was furious.

"They almost got me! They almost got me! They almost got me! They almost got me! They almost got me! They almost got me! They almost got me! They almost got me! They almost got me! They almost got me! They almost got me!..."

At once, he froze in a snap, silent, hunched over, impossibly solid. His eyed popped open somewhere in the dark and widened into something terribly calm. His grimace seemed to melt downward in slow motion to form something horrible and insanely dangerous.

In a voice that almost resembled that of a raspy little girl, he whispered something demonic into the black treeline and sprinted quietly into the night.

Hours later, a faint and ungodly giggling could be heard somewhere horrible.


"Dave Andrews, abduction escapee"

"You look up into the night sky and you see...what? What do you see?

People do that, right? They look up into the sky and they watch for their favorite shapes, right? Look, there's the Big Dipper or that lion shit-for-brains, whatever his name is. Yeah, they do that. They do it, because they don't know what's gliding between those dots, the horribly silent minds that travel in straight lines to do horrible things with their sick lights. Hell, I used to do it, too. Won't catch me doing that anymore, though, not without a gun and a bullet.

Won't take me alive, again. Can't. They just can't.

Hit me again?"



"I...I don't know what you're asking, here..."

Mark adjusted his tie and gulped hard on the dry air of the train car. He was sweating. Looking around, he realized that no one else appeared to notice the small, chattering man to his right. Heads down. Earbuds pressed firmly into place. Heavy bestsellers resting pages-up in laps of people looking blandly across the cab into the windows at the attractive people sitting next to them.

Moments ago, the old woman in the seat had gotten up to wander out into the night, leaving this odd being with its strange fade and calm, ancient, red eyes.

Later, Mark would recall that it wasn't the insanity of the situation but the odd way the thing's lips seemed to jump around into crazy smiles and grins that had disquieted him the most. That odd way, of course, and the rows of horrible, horrible teeth.

He never had a chance.


"The Back Room"

After closing, the small shop, in the city of life, in the by-day-busy market now darkened and slicked with dew, swirled with hot twirls of the multicolored smokes of things that had been dried centuries ago and brought to burn in front of the future pictured in the orb. Nimble hands sliced quiet through the air around the radiant thing as entranced eyes stared into the humming red of the back room's decoration.

"Oh yes, I see it now. I seeeeeeeeee."

Outside in the sky, the moon, full and bright, seemed to intensify as it rose slowly into the night.

The hands of the wild soothsayer continued for much time before stopping abruptly. All light ran quickly from the room through the front door, and a room that had once been organic and alive with magic exhaled in the dark, empty and whistling with dust.



October 26th & 27th, 2010

October 27th, 2010 -- "row eight, seat six"

The spotty rain of that Sunday morning sprayed the window of the train in broken, diagonal streaks against the green-gray sky that smelled like lightning. It was a tired ten in the morning, and her legs were pressed up in sharp, numb bends against the squeaky dark blue of the seat in front of her. Tinny music came from the white buds leading in hoops to her ears. Next to her, a brown, leather bag hung open across the seat, showing books and a phone.

The train rolled in jerks to a slight stop, and she left, leaving a squeezed coffee cup in between the seat and the wall.


October 26th, 2010 -- "GET INSIDE!"

Agnes squeezed her head through the curtains at the last, possible second and pressed her head to the wall by the small, slot window in the green iron. She grabbed the handle of the slide and slammed it to the left with a clank. Outside, the event had begun.

"Please, Matthew! Quick! Quick!"



October 25th, 2010 -- "Far Away From The Sun, Listening for Everything Space Has to Offer"

"Far Away From The Sun, Listening for Everything Space Has to Offer"

It's odd, he thought.

You know, the scraping sensation that arrives when tearing through space, the tingling waves of bits of bright light that run lines down your body like white spit. They press in at high speed in a freckled sheet between you and the black of space to make the sharp form of a man from nothing, a zooming, traveling shadow in the night sky, silent, breathing, sparkling at its edges where small suns meet oil black along the razor side of a plain line.

It had been a small explosion, something that had a foundation in some cold, tank air - nothing fiery or lethal like a hydrogen spit or a chemical wash. It had been small and it had been just enough to shoot him out through the hatch door and into space with a cosmic pop!

The first few minutes were madness, a silent scream in slow motion that hung in the air like a dropped plate seconds before detonating into countless little things that no one ever wants to pick up. There was a cringe, a hunch, the gut-wrenching tingle at the ends of fingertips as hands reaching out for a purchase find nothing but nothing in nothing. In the night, far away from the unmanned station to properly give up, he brought his legs to his chest snugly and rolled in a straight line like an infant for miles while passing out slowly.

He awoke by Saturn and did his best to decide on some kind of "up" for himself. Calm or defeated or both, he closed his eyes and rubbed the soft of his suit with his rubbery gloves, making a noise that sounded like cleaning an empty tub. His stomach grumbled. It reminded him that dinner had been at 1900, whenever that had been, whichever day that had been, however long ago that was that would decide how much longer he had left to go in the starry slick.

The radio in his suit's helmet sizzled without much change for hours, and the sound reminded him of sleep.



(This blog turned one on the 16th!) October 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, & 20th.


Scarf sat at the table in the corner of the club and twirled a salt shaker between his hand and the hardwood. The light from the lantern in front of him was cut in half by his head on its way to the wall where it splashed in warm red on brightly leafed wallpaper. Inside, the salt looked like hot pink. By the lamp on the wall, menus rested in gooey piles of laminated paper stained and wrinkled by syrupy, brown alcohol and fruit juice. Packets of sugar and bits of coffee grounds pressed in a group in slots by the napkins. By those, a few bic pens ground up by teeth on the end.

By his hand, the check. "Thanks!"

The plan was simple.



Wendy opened the shitty pantry. A breeze led on by the opening door came running in through the window on the adjacent wall. Tufts of fine hair fluttered in wind like white feathers on small forehead as fragile hands let go of the door. The jars glassed and clinked on shelves that lined up along the wall like a storefront.

Her eyes scanned the room, worried. This was all she had.


"a healthy realization of self worth in the face of personal and biting adversity, as well as an unexpected boost of self esteem and loss of cowardice due to pop rap"

Zipping his bag up, he thought about what noise it would make, the tying up of all the ends of his life like fat shoelaces long left untied. The headphones went on, and it came to him.



"The Creep's Admirable Statement of Purpose"

Sliding and smiling out of the dark with an unnatural rapidity, The Creep, at a speed, tempo, and intensity comparable to his emergence, said it.

I wake up in the morning wishing for the decimation of my mortal enemies.

As if sucked down a sick drain like the last bit of dirty liquid in a bunk, basement sink, he was gone into the murk doing God knew what, he stink of murder gone with him.


"Blind Date"

The Crass Ass ended up being able to offend three waiters and a customer by the bar before offering a buck to The Jerk for the check.

She looked up, shocked.

Six months later, they were married.


"Sar For Sil Map Boff Hos"

The ancient's eye flicked open with a sound faintly reminiscent of swordmetal.


"Sinister Nothing"

Spinning around at once in the road, the young girl saw nothing in the spot where the noise came from, which was almost worse, because something is something, and you have to deal with it, but nothing seems like nothing and could be something unseen, something that needs to be found out or run from!

The girl chose to run.

Big mistake.