The Bladed Butterfly Killed The Budweiser

“I’m pretty sure Valarie has murdered somebody before.”

Suzie Oliphant was perhaps getting to deep into the background of her assumed identity. She had herself a terrible Oshkosh accent and a stupid grin that matched the only known photo of Valerie Sutherland. She was working out the details of the woman’s life as she could best approximate from the driver’s license provided her. This was perhaps too much labor for a simple bar hop.

“For the love of all that is holy, you just flash it and look nonchalant. If this turns into your scary ass perversion of method acting, I’m ditching you.”

Paul would do it too, of the clique Paul and Suzie are polar opposites and sometimes bitter enemies. The van moved through the night under the green reflective signs of the highway. Helen was busy playing tetris on her big and ancient gameboy. Dan was absent, sensing doom at the prospect of his three friends drunk but lacking the courage and energy to stop them. The three were heading straight for a brick wall at full speed. More or less, that was the point.

They pulled up to the bar and quickly enter hoping that no one would notice that they were woefully too uncool to get drunk. This it turns out wasn’t a problem, as there were plenty of uncool people at the bar. The three were being given solemn and wide looks for a completely unrelated reason. It seemed that the character of Valerie Sutherland had a penchant for swinging a rather large pocket knife open and shut, rapidly. To her credit though she was very nonchalant about it.

The sheriff sorted out the mess quickly.

Felicity Lives On

I decided the world needed you Felicity, so I made a new one. She’s not even one now but she’s pretty much you. I call her Shirley and I hope she has a better life than you did. I’m going to hold her, love her and do everything a father should. The only thing is, I think of you while I hold her and I know you’re not exactly her.

It’s hard looking into her smile and not see you. I know one day, when I’m old, I’ll probably slip and call her Felicity. The trapeze I traverse scares the living shit out of me. If I keep thinking of her like you, I could really screw her up. I could make her your shadow in my eyes and she’d resent me for it. Hell, I’d resent me for it.

I shouldn’t have done this. You’re dead and for all I know the world is better for it. Maybe that’s how it’s suppose to be. Something divine just came down and snipped you because you were wrong for this world. I’m just a conceited heretic pining for yesterday.

Then again, I see those dark eyes that she inherited from you. Those eyes are enough for me to look my lord God in the face and deny him. This girl is too great not to be. I’ll tell her later, after Beth and I have had our kid, after we’re all settled. We’ll tell Shirley about her strange frozen mother and her sad end. I’ll make sure to keep Shirley from dark alleys. I’ll make sure she knows when it’s okay to let go of things.

…They were just things Felicity, they weren’t worth it.

The Clark’s Adversarial Anniversary Dinner

“Won’t you stay for desert?”

His voice was silk, alluding to a knife lurking underneath. Tom was always so proper and planned. The waiter approaching their table seemed to be two linebackers taped together. He was carrying either a pipe or a shotgun. None the less, he carried himself expertly and didn’t drop a course or a roll. The marinara smelled incredible and Patricia would chance poison to eat it, however she stand Tom’s satisfaction.

“You know I can take your friend out?”

“But can you take his friend out as well? He’s a black belt.”

“In what?”

“Take your pick.”

“Tae Kwon Uzi.”

“You didn’t. You couldn’t. That’s expressly against the rules.”

“I told you, no more foreplay.”

“You mean just, just do it?”

“Right here, if you’d have me.”

Tom found her little hands in his red curls, like back when they were new and such things were still exciting. There was nothing shielding him from the two deep oceans he was collapsing into. She was wearing her chestnut hair in a tight braid. When did he stop noticing these things? Alfredo be damned, she was amidst the fettuccine embracing her husband passionately. Slowly, they parted for a chance to breathe. Finding nothing of value in the world above, they returned to their home dark and deep inside a beast with many appendages.

Gingerly, the waiter grabbed the bottle of chianti and glasses. As he pushed the cart back into the kitchen, he caught the eye of the ninja squadron. They were flailing their arms furiously but all the poor waiter could do was shake his head. The waiter still had work to do; the sniper waiting in the eaves still had to be told. The whole team was going out to a midnight screening of something.

Amanda West, A Positronic Angel


Subject: Two years is not enough

Two years is not enough. I know it’s been said before but there’s no way that two years is enough. She was our perfect little eight year old girl and you’d think we’d be happy with it but no, we needed more time. Is there a better battery? Can we add more RAM? Is there any tweak we can do to keep her living?

Look, Amanda is my daughter and I know she’s not perfect but we love her. We can’t make our own child, that’s why we bought one from you. We need her to live, we need her to survive past the fifth grade. She loves Social Studies and she’s learning Algebra on her own. She’s so bright and brilliant.


Simon West


Subject: re: Two years is not enough

Please return Amanda to the address listed in the warranty information. She is currently under warranty and we can fix her. You will be reimbursed for shipping. We apologize for any inconvenience or undue stress. Thank you for your correspondence.

Gratefully Yours,

Jared Smith

Autonomous LLC

The lcd cast Jared’s whole workshop in a blue hue. Amanda’s body lied on the bench only a few inches from the laptop, scrapped of all it’s servos and useful parts. The hard drives were faulty on the eights and Mr. Smith had since found a better supplier. He had all the pertinent information to make a new Amanda, all anyone ever really complained about were a couple quirks they held dear. This Amanda would be a thirteen, a less preconscious, more sturdy model. A thirteen can last you your whole life and people quite happy with them seven years after.

Of all the eights he had replaced, no one called him on the cold fact that they were just replacements. All those happy couples were just happy to have a child again. The Wests would more than likely be no different. He had already packed and shipped the new Amanda. All he had to due was email the shipping information.

After that, Jared would get to work on repairing that batch of eighteens. He had the rubber gloves and the disinfectant ready in the corner. So many fluids, such strange places.

Our Whet Love

My heart beats faster than hers, it always has. She’s moving the kris closer in this new motion. Next swing, she’ll be cutting me with that beautiful curved blade I bought her on her birthday. I’m moving out of her range with my bowie knife in reverse grip. We knew it would never last. All that penetration, all that screaming, it seemed just wrong without knives involved. We weren’t going to accept substitutes forever.

I’ve got to say, sex was easier and the hospitals asked less questions. C’est la vie, I guess.

The Blackmasked Uprising

It started at eleven in the morning and it hasn’t ended yet. There are still hundreds of them , filthy little insurgents spreading death and chaos. No one believed me when I said they were a threat, but now I’m sitting in my apartment watching them take pot shots at the national guard. Raccoons can carry and shoot submachine guns, the DoD was wrong to doubt me. I’m living in my own envisioned apocalypse. I’m sure the battle will end soon, but maybe now they’ll take me seriously. All it took was a lot of hard work, four years, five million dollars, and a god awful amount of rabies shots, but I have proven that raccoons can be a viable threat. Next, I’ll expose possums.

Where oh where did I leave the thermite?


The rain came down as if lead. The entire downtown landscape was getting drenched, including Tobias Miller. The exception to this weather was the man in the black wool coat and black fedora, he was dry. They spoke over the thuds of water, almost screaming. No one heard them though, no one else was so foolish as to be outside.

“So, it’s done?”

“Never even happened.”

“Where is Nate Waters?”

“In you’re wrong headed memory only.”

“So if I look in the white pages I won’t find him.”

“You’ll find three but you’re man isn’t one of them.”

Tobias stared at the dour long face. He was trying to remember ever inch and contour as he was sure he was looking at the world’s most powerful man.

“How did you do it?”

“Your’s is not to question how, but to pay me and mine and hope no one ever thinks to do the same to you.”

With that the black coat tturned and walked towards the west. It was all together unsettling as he disappeared five feet from Toby. Toby left for his warm house, where his wife and son waited for him.

Tobias checked the obituaries, the rotary club and the county records, there was no Nathaniel Waters. His hated enemy had never even been born. Elias and Mary Waters had only three sons, and none went to Northwest where they beat up a little pipsqueak named Toby. None became Harvard schooled lawyers. None ever left the city they were born in. /most importantly, no one ever seduced Toby’s wife away from him. Toby thought he’d be happy but all he had was guilt.

Luckily, there is a plan in place to take care of such lingering feeling. In his motel room at the edge of town, the man in the black hat looks over the script and is currently revising. At the table next to the window, the typewriter sits. A little jar sits on his nightstand next to him. Slowly, he unscrews the lid and dots the page with splotches of white. Toby’s guilt disappears.

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