The Hard Boot Option

He’s going to end in February if he doesn’t have a reason not to. It’s just plain old wasteful to live when you don’t want to. It’s going to be a pretty little pistol that does him in if it comes to that. He keeps the pistol in a cigar box marked hard boot option. It sits in his closet, ever so close to an epicenter of a hypothetical avalanche. He’s putting together his tax retur some ten feet from the closet.

He keeps the gun because of Dorthy, who has been dead for ten years. Dorthy died ten years ago but she started leaving twelve. Thirteen years ago, Tim had found the pistol under Dorthy’s dining room table. He had had palmed it in fear of those terrible things that dotty old mostly blind women might do if given half a chance.

Later he had found the gun among his things. The pearl handles felt good in his hand and the gold leaf around the slide appealed to his vanity. As he inspected the gun further he found a single bullet in the chamber and nothing in the clip. She died afraid, creeping into the very base of her mind as the lights went out. Perhaps, if he had left the gun there, she’d avail herself of the exit.

Tim can’t fix that, he can only carry it. Now, Tim’s got himself an exit if he so desires to take it but right now taxes… then maybe later death.

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Brother From Another Mother

We use to play tag. Well you’re it now and I don’t think your going to tag me back. Tag with rocks just don’t work the same as any other kind of tag. I don’t exactly feel for you. You came at me with a gun, and I’m going to live. It should have been me and you versus them. We were better than all of them. Everyone of those pathetic wannabes on the lower east side, we could have beat them all and then we could have owned this street, this block, this whole city. That ain’t happening now. I’m going back to my boys now.

Ain’t it a shame.

The Devil And The Straw Seller

The rules are simpler than you’d think. They don’t want your soul, it’s precious to you but they don’t have a use for it. They want you to do things for them, could be anything and you’ll probably never know their designs. You don’t want to know their designs. If you get curious back away from this, this type of deal isn’t for you.

My liaison was Harriet. She was tall, curvy and young with long red hair, although that means less when you can choose your form. I was a married man, so I wasn’t ever tempted, vows being set in stone. She stared out the window effecting a slightly obvious inorganic disinterest. She would do anything to keep her eyes off the bit of cloth and the black barrel protruding out from under.

“You just want me to sell it?”

“You can get $400 for it.”

“What do you get?”

“Nothing that effects you.”

For a moment I thought smoke was leaving her mouth but then I realized that was her breath. It’s apparently a lot warmer where she comes from. The waitress had already pointed out that this was a non smoking establishment. Seeing as though there was no cigarette and no lingering smell, the poor woman could only shrug and file it under strange shit unexplained. She simply left our meals and drink on the table. Overall, the service at the diner was exquisite.

I had a Mexican scramble, while Harriet had biscuits and gravy with quite a bit of Tabasco. We were both enjoying our meals and neither looking at the veiled nonregistered centerpiece. The food was good and the coffee was cheap but passable. The conversation sat on the table, awkwardly waiting for ingestion to finish. Five minutes later we were back to talking.

“Where do I sell it?”

“On the black market.”

“Where the hell is that?”

“Where desperate men congregate.”

“That’s not an answer.”

“That’s all the answer you need.”

As Harriet reached for her wallet, I left with the gun quickly swept into my bag. I made sure to leave a tip as I was sure that Harriet wouldn’t. Not to say that Harriet was above stealing a tip but there are always risks. As far as I know she paid for the meal. I never went back to that Diner. The black market was easy enough to find. It was close by and very easy to use. Truth was, I had been a shopper there before but I didn’t know it. I came out of the deal with $415 profit, counting the breakfast.

That money did me a lot of good; I try not to think about what the gun did.

The Assassination of a Dangerous Delusion

I let her in. I unlocked every door, every window, every cabinet. I was completely open and unguarded, like first time someone had been inside me. She moved in me with such subtle steps as to almost make me believe that I was alone inside my mind. Then I hear the beeps of all the fine machinery around me and I’m brought back to the reality of being strapped into a gurney while a woman typed furiously at a keyboard.

“Who was Jessie, Bernard?”

“Jessie was a bully I had when I was in elementary.”

“Why do you want him erased from your mind?”

“Isn’t this something you could have asked me before you put a gun to my head?”

“This gun sir, cost you $10,000 and the best way to make sure I don’t shoot your dear Mama is to be actively thinking about Jessie.”

“Well first off, Jessie is not exactly real.”

“Then what is he?”

“A defensive measure. The real Jessie lives in Omaha and has a wife and two kids. He’s a nice guy, but I needed an asshole to protect me. So I took the kid I knew in the fourth grade and I gave him puberty and bigger stronger fists. Then, I let him walk around my head.”

“And why would you do that?”

“I’m a courier. I transport secrets covertly across the country: blueprints, songs, sometimes just a sentence. They hire me because faxes can be intercepted, email accounts can be hacked and anything physical can be stolen. I can just get on a plane and go from point a to point b. They can’t steal my thoughts, not now.”

“Why can’t they steal from you?”

“Because I have Jessie. If someone tries to torture the information out of me, Jessie distracts me and makes it clear that he’ll hurt me more than the torturers. If someone actually has the gall to try take my thoughts, Jessie finds them. There’s no nook or cranny where Jessie doesn’t go and he’s really good at pointing out people who don’t belong. He’s always been good at that.”

“Okay, so if Jessie’s so useful why are you getting rid of him?”

I stop for a moment.

“It’s suddenly occurring to me that you have gleamed more information from me than anyone else in the last decade.”

She stared into the scanner looking for the little abnormality that represented Jessie.

“What can I say, I’m a curious person.”

“A curious person who stands to make a great deal of profit off the information in my mind.”

“This is all covered under doctor patient confidentiality.”

“The money my thoughts could make you could buy you a nice law firm to avail yourself of. Then with the change you could buy a jumbo jet.”

“True, but then I’d have to clear my appointments and pass up all those juicy million dollar operations I have in the next month. I know the people who try to take from you. I empty the people who try to take from you. By the way, you might think about that operation in your future.”

“So what kind of secrets do they have?”

“The kind I won’t talk about. Why do you want to get rid of Jessie?”

“I like the secrets, they make me feel special. What I don’t like is having an asshole in my head. I’m retired now and I neither need nor want Jessie in my head anymore. He’s starting to effect me too, I’m getting more angry and I don’t want to be angry.”

“That did it, I’ve painted him. Now all I have to do is take him to ground.”

“How does it work?”

“The scanner follows him down his path and erases his footprints, then we do a more invasive scan and erase all mention of him from your mind.”

“Including the guy who lives in Omaha?”

“Is that a problem?”

“No, not really.”

I turned to look at Dr. Patricia Kent. I could just see her out of my peripheral vision. I tried to crane my neck but that didn’t work. It seemed like her body started in her long fingertips. The machine she was typing on was more a part of her than anything on her actual body. Her fingers led from the machine to her arms. Her arms were thin utilitarian things that disappeared into a light green sweater. She emerged from the sweater at her prominent chin, which was below her long and honest smile. Her frilly wild red hair framed her whole face. On her forehead was a red dot.

I closed my eyes and tried not to hear the pop. She had been painted and then destroyed. As I opened my eyes, I saw Fred leaving. That big black beluga worked for Mr. Daniels. Mr. Daniels had apparently decided that a doctor was too much of a risk. What he had forgotten was that this was a clear breach of contract. I could now talk about his gay son on cable news and he couldn’t legally do a damn thing. Of course, what I was going to do wasn’t legal in the slightest. Jessie was still inside me and I now had a new use for him.

The Magical Fellating Dragon That Use To Be Ellen

The bourbon ran down Tweed’s gullet and the pain sort of went away. Ellen was an event that demanded anesthetization but sadly he had no insurance. He also he had no charisma and absolutely no ability to lie and get the proper medication to get rid of the Ellen residue that resided deeply inside him. So, he masked her with alcohol and benadryl. He slept a lot.

Sadly, in his dreams, there she was. She was wearing her hair back and it was still jet black. She was coming on to him. Her breasts crossed his chest and he knew that she was a lie. She had never been so forward in their relationship. As she reached down into his pants, he realized that this was a gross injustice.

Then she became a Chinese style dragon and the masturbation began in earnest.

Diaspora

Before it falls off the mountain and down the river, it is ice. When it comes to the mountain, it is rain. Sometime long ago. it was ocean and it was great. Then a while later, it is Megan who lives in the midwest and waits on tables. Megan wants the ocean badly but there is more than a thousand miles between her and the coast. Also, there are considerably large bills to pay. All and all, things were simpler when she was rain.

The Fire And The King Crayon

The pair of boxer briefs he was wearing had beautiful night watch plaid pattern but that really wasn’t all Miles wanted in life. Sadly, the fire enveloping his house and all his possessions were leaving him with little other stuff to hold onto. For once, Miles was glad Shelly had the children. Miles, the dog and the scotch were sleeping abroad tonight as the firefighters worked impotently to save their house. Miles saluted their effort and slowly laid down in the grass. Scout licked his left ear as a rottweiler is wont to do. The onlookers continued gawking at the glorious sight into the night. The sun revealed his house to being oh so many charred cinders. There among the bits and the pieces of the kitchen was a large wad of wax. It was a 120 crayons magnificently wadded into a beautiful rainbow right in the heat duct. Miles was very glad Shelly had the children.

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