Critica In Media Res

“So, I’m shadowboxing nude and in walks Clyde.”

“Whoa, so many questions.”

“By all means, ask away George. Not trying to tell a story here or anything.”

“First thing, you shadowbox nude?”

“Yes George, I exercise flesh exposed.”

“Aren’t there certain parts of your famous anatomy that would make that difficult?”

“I tend to exercise during my waning periods.”

“I thought lunar imagery was reserved for the reverse end.”

“Well, I’m sorry I didn’t have an apt and respectable metaphor that fits your constraints.”

“Some of us believe in constraints, boxers myself.”

“George, please can we get on with this?”

“Fine, you were at the part where Clyde walked in through your unlocked door.”

“No, he has a key.”

“I thought you didn’t hand keys out to anyone Henry?”

“Just anyone, George. You have to have a reason to need a key.”

“I get lonely sometimes, Henry. You know that.”

“Well so does Clyde, then he calls Phoebe.”

“Oh God, again? That man is like the lifetime station in reverse.”

“Well this time he’s bleeding and she’s coming at him with a paring knife.”

“Then what?”

“Dumb bastard didn’t lock the door. Took all my wits to run back into my bedroom and barricade myself.”

“And you called me why?”

“In hopes of advice.”

“911 is the conventional choice.”

“Oh duh! Sorry, I was kind of taken by surprise, still a bit out of sorts.”

“Understandable, tell me how it works out.”

“Will do.”


O Happy Dagger!

The dagger could barely believe his luck. To have been spared the rib cage and landing squarely under the diaphragm, is an incredible boon for a dagger. She was a smart one and the dagger had felt privileged to serve under her. He was saddened by her loss but hopeful for the future.

All too often, a person would try and cleave his or her breasts with the thrusting edge confusing dramatic license for a solid understanding of anatomy. If the blade should stick, it could very well end in tears. The blade could rust among the dead body’s bile, sweat and blood. No one wanted a rusty disgusting blade and they tended to be tossed to the forge.

This dagger was going to be okay. He was in a pretty noblewoman and she was with a pretty nobleman. A peasant was sure to come by pilfering soon; they had a sixth sense that seemed to tell them when nobility died. Sure, it would be a less posh life than the dagger had known before but he knew it would be a good life.

The Happy Dagger’s father, a cinquedea of some years, was always one to speak of the glory of combat but this humble dagger felt just as happy cutting apart an apple in some hovel as he did stabbing at a ruffled collar. Yes siree, things were looking up for this piece of cutlery.

…Perhaps, though war would be declared. A dagger can dream.

Scary Dog, Poor Typist

There was a dog outside of the door and he was answering correspondence. It was a big mean looking rottweiler but he looked engrossed in his writing. Chris had nowhere to be, but it was still a bit worrisome that he couldn’t leave his room in fear of the dog that was currently using Chris’s computer. It was the third Thursday of the month and Chris had forgotten to leave before 9 am.

Chris paced back and forth in his bedroom trying to get a clue as to how to proceed. There was a dog biscuit he kept in his pillow case for just this contingency. He had never tried it before but the principles were sound. It was just a matter of the proper throw and the will to dare.

Sadly, he was lacking in that will. All there was to do was to wait for a dog with a 15 words per minute typing speed to catch up with the last six months of his email. Later, Chris would look for an apartment with a more orthodox landlord.

The question of how his previous landlord put on reading glasses without thumbs would haunt Chris eternally.

The Glass Breaks And The Lady Bleeds

A good trigger, when pulled, should feel like breaking glass. The sensation should be distinctive, crisp and most of all binary. There should be no wavering or extra deliberation needed in the actual act of pulling the trigger. Calvin breathes out and shoots. The trigger feels exactly as it should.

Anyone within a city block can hear the sound of lightning touching down. Ten stories down and a hundred yards from Calvin, Justin is in the middle of a small park bleeding internally. There is a hole in Justin and it’s slightly wider than a quarter. He doesn’t have a heart anymore, it was ripped apart as the bullet left. Justin dies quickly but the last thing he remembers is a terrible punch.

Calvin shoves the rifle into a gym bag. He’s out the door, moving in good time. As he makes his way down the rickety wooden staircase, The Lady of Guadalupe is in the front of his mind. She is tattooed on Justin’s back and now she has a hole through her that’s seeping blood.

This week no one will rent a room at that motel on the outskirts of town. Calvin will never look at the Lady of Guadalupe again. No more pillow talk, no more bad movies, just Calvin, alone. A man that can be hired to kill should always make sure not to acquaint himself with those that might need to die.

He’s out the back door and the duffel goes behind a trash can to be found later, without a print or clue. He walks into the noon sun, feeling bloodied and awful. The Lady is still there in his mind and she’s not leaving. He’ll try whiskey, he’ll try pills but she’ll never leave.

Godless, Thanks To Felicity

There was a god but he was never very interested in the going ons of Felicity. Felicity was so whimsical and incredibly destructive that her god could no longer take responsibility for the universe of which she resided. He wasn’t the first to abdicate but he was the first to do so do to the actions of a seven year old girl.

What pray tell could make a god leave his, her, its or their collective post? It was the adding of tuna to a peanut butter sandwich, which Felicity proceeded to enjoy thoroughly. Really, it was the enjoyment that put the god over the top. The enjoyment was an affront to the exact design of the human taste buds, and that no good god could not abide. Sadly, he could not bring himself to smite her so he left.

So, now you understand why I had to pour finger paint all over Felicity. She ate a peanut butter and tuna sandwich and forced God to abandon us. She is the reason we are godless now, and yet you dare admonish me? Mother, how cruel you are.

Harriet Had Dated The Protagonist

Harriet’s eyes grew wide as the Yamaha Ninja burst through the plate glass window. Harriet had found herself handcuffed to a chair in the climax of an action movie. As her European hosts began firing at the motorcycle with reckless abandon, it occurred to her that this was most likely impossible. The man who was performing a somersault behind the bike with two submachine guns was not disproving this hypothesis.

Harriet had left her normal life at the entrance of the warehouse. Something had pushed her towards the open door. There she beheld box after box after box of clearly marked heroine. Somehow she knew that she would be apprehended by a tall blond man in leather. It turned out that there were ten tall blond men in black leather and they were expecting her,

She couldn’t think of a good reason why they would be expecting her but then again, she didn’t have much time to. There were only two minutes between her being handcuffed to a wooden chair and the Yamaha’s entrance. The man from behind the motorcycle was walking confidently while firing both his guns. He was wearing a speed suit and a helmet. As he came within a step of her, he removed his helmet.

She could recognized that spiky red hair anywhere; it was Paul, her high school sweetheart. As he ripped apart the joints of the wood chair, it occurred to Harriet that this was all a bit convenient.

“Paul, what am I doing here?”

“Don’t you mean wha tam I doing here?”

“You’re here to shoot up a European drug cartel.”

“True enough.”

“Are you going to answer my question?”

“As best I can tell, plot convenience.”


“Look, I don’t tell many people this but I’m the protagonist.”

Harriet wanted to say bull but it all added up. Everything about Paul felt unnaturally dramatic. When Harriet was in high school she chalked it up to his charm but it was more than that. The reason why Paul’s story seemed so compelling was it was the main story that all side stories blossomed from.

“Here take my Glock.”

She looked down at the big piece of plastic and back at him.

“Paul, I’ve never used a gun.”

“Don’t worry, that will just make your moment of badassery more satisfying.”

“I get to have a moment of badassery?”

“Sure, your a main character now.”

With that, they were off to find a kingpin.

The Real Mary Dents The World

She turned off the display and the clock went black. Time was out of sight and out of mind. Four inch heels sat to her right in the passenger seat. Mary’s naked foot stepped on the gas and the world went into it’s abstract period. She weaved and turned her way through the world, letting something in between vision and intuition guide her deftly through to her house.

She made copies, she made coffee, she collated but that wasn’t her. That was just the person she was when she wasn’t real. When she was real, she was in a car. When she was real, she made smoke and incredible time and collated for no one.

Somewhere she heard sirens and she knew that they were coming for her despite reality. They grew closer and closer. She knew she had an exit. As she moved ever closer to her street, she hit the gas and hit the stoplight. Lacking a seatbelt, Mary flew out of her 1987 Thunderbird. For the last few seconds, she was bloody, barefoot and happy.

Of course, her eulogy read differently.

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