Our Champion, Our Monster

Naked except for the blood across his chest and the ancient pair of yellowed briefs, he is victorious. With arms wide open, he lives in our roaring love. She is not long for this Earth. Her black hair falls down her body all the way to the large deep gash, where her intestines spill from. The purple blouse is ruined. He preforms the estocada and ends the silly cow. She was nineteen.

She had moved spryly. It was clear that she had athletic training before, but nothing all that martially practical. She had fought well but not well enough to live. Nature has no pity, and neither does the crowd. She is put on the ground like all unworthy dogs. He has a moment’s pause that we can’t quite discern the reason to. He stares at the brown that coats the brick wall.

We are told these things had names before, but we give them new ones. He is called Champion, a name more apt than anything the bitch that birthed him could grasp. 25, 5”11, 170 lbs, he is all sinew and sharp edges. From the same streets we took her, he came some eight years ago, young and fresh.

The crowd at first did not take to him. Sure he survived his daily duels but there was no finesse, no conviction to his kills. Somewhere in his second year of his new life, he gained his rebel yell and the crowd fell in love.

Our we not great? We have taken a gas station attendant and made him a warrior and a living god. We scream until we our hoarse, we throw roses at his feet and some even make it through the fence. In his own time, when he is as full of our love as he should want he leaves the arena. Two guards take the remains of the woman soon after. Then they take sponges to the cement to rid it of any blood.

Soon, a new fight begins. They are both new meat. They circle each other over and over again. Their knives are drawn but close to their body. They are nervous, the first time everyone is nervous. They are both just women, not a year later. The blond is 5”11 and mostly muscle. She is pensive. The brunette is 5”3 and she wears pensive well. We know the difference, she will go far in her new life.

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A Comedy of Telepathy

I feel like a Quisling.

Who did you betray?

You think I’m a traitor? Jackass!

But that’s what a

He means the sub place on the corner.

Okay, what on Earth does that feel like?

That I can’t answer.

Its just when I have a bit too much to drink, I feel, I don’t know, more edible.

That statement is entirely disturbing. For one thing TMI, for another why did you come to work drunk?

It takes the edge off.

Really, he’s a much better at accounts receivable man with Wild Turkey.

Good lord, can we please get back to the matter of the budget?

I don’t really know. This is all kind of distracting. I’m a bit lost.

Ditto on that.

I’ll admit I’m sort of imagining Jerry with melted provolone.

Dude, you’re my boss, don’t eat me.

Phil, not to be a buzzkill but how much did you pay for this rig?

Four grand, why?

So, you’re first use for the first generation telepathic networking equipment you bought was a meeting with the subject “Practicality and Economy”.

Jim you are a buzzkill. Time for lunch, log off.

Within forty seconds of logging off, Phillip Swinford was out of the conference room, four thousand dollar piece of crap in hand. He would get a refund, this he knew. Jeremy Stevens and James Conroy left for the sub shop to get three hot roast beef subs with provolone. The three would call this sandwich from then on the Jerry. No one else would understand why.

If The Sun Should Thunder

 

From: moonconqueror@email <Delilah>            5:48 Saturday, Jan 22, 2011

Subject: It’s the end of the world my dear

If the impossible happens, if the sun should thunder and shake the ground, if our very axis should tilt, know that this is your fault. You decided that your career was more important than me. Gotta serious question for you, is your career more important than everyone?

On December 24th, you turned away from me. You left me on Christmas Eve, right before my parents came home. I was crying and they were condescending. It took all I had not to test out my experimental plasma cannon on Dad. You almost made me kill me father. Are you happy with yourself?

So, I finally put my doctorate in evil science to use. I’m building myself a doomsday machine. Can’t get into the particulars quite yet but it’s got a lot of magnets and it’s output is measured in the terrawatt territory. I’m going into the land of mad science and I don’t think I’m coming back.

Now all this said, I don’t really want to destroy the world. I just want you and I’m willing to threaten all life we know of in order to get you. Came back to me Pete, you can’t turn away from this. Plus, you can’t do any better than me either.

 

PS. I ask for no less than four months of total subservience. I will have a plus one for my sister’s wedding or so help me the thunder will come.

His Powerful Eyes

“What if the stars go away?”

Young Catlin looked up at her father with curiosity and slight distant fear. Five years old, her head was full of jagged facts that never quite fit into her soft notions of the world around her. Today, she was greeted with the uncomfortable statement that all things end. Barry cursed public broadcasting for putting him in this predicament.

“Then I will look up and they will come back.”

Catlin smiled, she was satisfied in the reaffirmation that her father was great. She put the day behind her with all it’s gnawing new questions tucked away in the less ventured parts of her mind. For the moment, she had her answer. My dad has powerful eyes. She drifted off.

Barry rose from his daughter’s bed and closed her door behind him. He found his own smile, a slight smirk really. The things that children dwell on can really be quite silly. With food, shelter and warmth in hand, his daughter’s was groping for something to fear. It’s a strange comfort to be sure. He descended the stairs in a slow rhythm.

As he came to the nook in the kitchen, he noticed his wife Samantha. Her eyes were sunk deep into the pile of paper that constituted the table. Her mind was in the throws of bills and debt. He sat down on the other side obstructed by the correspondence of banks and hospitals.

“What’s troubling you?”

“What if we can’t pay the mortgage?”

“Now when Catlin says things like this it’s understandable. You are my wife Samantha, you should put away such childish doubt. Have you lost faith in me?”

“No, I guess not. I’m just tired.”

“It’s okay honey, just remember to pray before bed.”

She was already doing just that her hands assembled with the steeple almost to her nose .

Oh Barry, deliver me from usury and keep us safe.

“Bless you.”

It had taken some time for Samantha to understand that Barry was the one and true God but now, she found it so convenient. While other’s communions are abstract ceremonies, Samantha could talk to Barry any time she wanted. He was a good god, and sometimes he would even let her out of the house.

Her Own Special Goodbye

In a small room, even a tiny bullet like a .32 can fill the air with a hellish pop. Harry’s Berber carpeted world was full of an old things, Harry not the least. The mortally wounded decanter was older still. Beautiful drips of Kentucky slowly flowed into the carpet. For a moment, he considered the small compartment under the right arm of his recliner but shrugged off the notion. He didn’t need to turn his head know that Helen was standing in the doorway with a gun.

“Helen, I’m not starting this.”

“You’re going to die, today or tomorrow. I might as well be the one paid for it.”

“Then you’ll have to do it. The .38 is staying in it’s little home for now.”

“Why can’t you just make it easy for me.”

“Selfishness, I suppose. I couldn’t stand knowing that you killed me.”

“I could just do it, you know. This is all courtesy.”

“Oh the proficiency is there, me and the Maker’s Mark agree on that. It’s just that damn soul of your’s gets in the way.”

He always had the strange ability of turning a sentence into a rabbit punch. Helen hated that he knew her so completely. Through a series of mostly impossible to discern events, an up and coming assassin and an old muckraker had fallen in love. This was to no one’s advantage. Helen collapsed on the love seat miserable, dumbfounded and with nine extra bullets that she no longer planned on using.

Harry turned and looked into those hazel eyes. They sat between brown curls that fell haphazardly across her face. On her face he could see the five years he had invested in her. The worried wrinkles in her already lean face made a 30 look just shy of 33. Of all the things to impart, he hadn’t meant to give her shame.

All she saw was that man she loved, the one who wouldn’t shut up. This one, whose op ed has now made him a dead man. This one, with sixty year old baby fat, gray hair and piercing blue eyes. Of all the names on her list, this was the one she was going to miss.

“Okay, you’re right. Want me to stay here? I can always stand to take out the competition.”

“No. you’re right about that I’m dead. In fact, I’m going to bed to wait for my fate.”

As he ascended, she went through the scenarios. Each time, he ended up dead. Every time, she ended up alone. She followed him up the stairs, she decided she owed him her own special goodbye.

The New Adventures of Old Snot Nose

In a word Beatrice’s world was crapulence. She was being drunk by a vicious viscous green monster. Every glass of water she had in her was feeding it. Every ten minutes she was emptying it’s excess into tissues and shirt sleeves. She drank and she sneezed in rapid succession but she was losing herself in the constricted death throws of her waking mind. The snot was winning and more and more Beatrice was dreaming.

In fits and starts, she was writing a letter to her parasite explaining her day by day interactions with people, water coolers and the omnipresent television. This would soon be the snot’s problem as it would soon become the dominant species inside Beatrice’s body. The more she explained her job and the three other people’s jobs that she did on a regular basis, the more she felt that it may indeed be nice to be simply watching Beatrice’s life.

Judging from her new position in the bleachers, she could appreciate her life better. It was really a pretty good show as long as you’re not living it. It was comedic gold and she could finally laugh at it. In her comfortable seating in the nosebleeds of her mind, she would watch it all.

The show would start with Ben and Beatrice meeting at the coffee in the snack room. She would let out string of verbal blunders, obviously flustered and infatuated. He would smile and then ignore her. Through the failed troubleshoots and the indelible stains she would survive and make it to five. Ben would slightly and she would be wound up again, ready for the next day. There would be a copyright skating rendition of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” during the credit roll.

Beatrice went to bed with happy thoughts of being a couch potato with a paycheck and woke up mucus free. She sighed and went to brush her teeth. It was another day outside her head, laugh track free.

The Mongo Gambit

In his collapsible chair on the other side of the table, Bernard is playing with his queen. He is careful never to take his finger off her. He considers his place on the board. He considers Jennifer’s and then he pretends to meditate. He strokes his beard, he inspected his glasses, he even replaces his queen and cleans his glasses.

“Checkmate in three.”

It is a room, the walls (although Jennifer can’t see them) are there. All the light she can see is coming from two feet above her head. On the yellow edge of the halo, a man stands with only his sneakers in the light. The chess game is all set up on a little collapsible table and by the count of captives, Jennifer is losing. She can’t leave her own collapsible chair and she doesn’t know why.

“I thought we use to be playing checkers?”

“What you thought isn’t precisely important and I think you know that.”

“Chauvinist much?”

“In the darker corners maybe, but that’s moot.”

She looks down. The board is upside down.

“Backgammon? You know how to play this?”

“In here? Yes.”

“How?”

“Well you move the white ones I move the black ones and it’s not important.”

“What are the dice for?”

“Decoration.”

“How do I win?”

“You don’t. You can’t win here, not if I know you’re coming.”

“Who is that guy?”

“You’ve got a lot of questions for someone who’s not kinged, in check and needs eight backgammons to win.”

Jennifer tries to get a hold of herself but in this room it’s hard.

“It’s hard to get a hold of yourself because you’re not her. You’re just an imprint.”

She stares at him hearing the comma he implied and waits for the explanation.

“Jessie there is an imprint too but he comes by it honestly. From grade five to ten, he tormented me daily: wedgies, beating, wet willies, all the things a growing nerd needs. You however are just the inept creation of the lady sitting next to me on the bus. Psychics these day think all you need is the raw talent. It never occurs to them that walking in someone else’s mind might take, oh I don’t know? Training perhaps?”

“Okay, why am I here?”

“You are far gone.” He sighed  “I suppose you were here to find something.”

“What?”

He almost falls for it like he’s a vaudevillian foil. It’s perfect, but then she has to go and dissolve out of existence. And so it goes…

Jennifer wakes up penniless and clueless on the 6:15 out of Denver, halfway to Los Angeles. Bernard is up soon after.

“Morning beautiful, sleep well?”

Bernard looks up at her, half a foot smaller than in his mind. He’s also quite a bit balder.

“Couldn’t you just tell me the secret ingredient?”

“Honestly, I forgot it after the eighth guy tried to take it for me, it’s just safer that way.”

He pulls a small hinged case out of his pocket. He opens and reveals the knights and pawns inside.

“Wanna play a game?”

Eight hours are between here and Los Angeles.

“Yes.”

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