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.


Simons Of The Land, Simon In The Stars

Simon worked through the night. In his winded moments, he stopped to look up and scan the sky for Orion. From here, the whole view of space was different and the hunter could not be found. Simon felt as if a prisoner, trapped on a strange world that was far from a home he had never even touched.

In distances measured in light, the original Simon Forrest traveled the stars giving himself to worlds that needed tilling. Yet, Simon Forrest was also down on the ground working a land called Vitae. He named it himself because Simon couldn’t frame to say it’s true name.

The locals were a gray people who walked on two legs and breathed oxygen as a man does. They were a bit on the small side  topping out at 1.75 meters. Their skin seemed sickly and without tone but their sinew was made apparent when they worked. Simon was among them in the fields and a married member of The Fair; an apt but accidental homonym.

Across galaxies, Simon Forrest was tilling lands and teaching peoples everywhere how to grow, how to feed. It was tiring but constantly thanked work and few Simons truly regretted their toil. Still, each held memories of the Simon in the stars and a sort of easily defeated loneliness that went along with the memory. It was the Simon condition, a psychological malady recognized in more than 10.000 cultures.

Simon in the stars could only sigh. Alone in his travels, he went from star to star, seeding the celestial garden with the knowledge to survive and maybe thrive. He knew he was the least alone person in the whole of space, but none of those other Simons were there in his ship. He would sigh and continue on with his work, all the while yearning to touch soil with his own hands.

In The Sixth Millenium, There Is Chocolate

Aidan Smith was cold but get warmer. The woman he was looking at was covered from lips to toes in white sterile cotton. While the garb wasn’t particularly taut, it betrayed a trim body with pleasing proportions. Her blond bangs met her eye brows in an impossibly straight and level line. While he ogled the first women he had scene in four thousand years, she scribbled on a clipboard. Surprisingly, clipboards still exist in the year 6000.

The calendar in the corner of the room put the day to be January 45, 6007; four days from St. Mulligan’s Day. Aidan was slightly suspicious of the fact that they had English anything but it’s not like they didn’t have time to prepare for him. There was a ding and a green light; the door opened. The woman unzipped her neck and revealed a toothy, pleasant but rehearsed smile.

“Thank you sir, for the compliment.” She spoke slowly and choked back disgust with diplomacy.

Aidan looked down and realized that with his new blood he had his first erection, and his first blush.

“Oh, sorry.”

“It’s quite normal but would you mind obscuring your member somehow. It’s distracting.”

He cupped his hands at a slight distance as to not exacerbate things.

“Alright I’m going to describe your person as I see it. This is to find and diagnose any discrepancies between you before and after the process.”

“What would a discrepancy indicate?”

“Depends, we try not to put any possibilities in your head prematurely. You have green hair correct?”

“No, red.” He then remembered alcohol . “Wait, yes I had green hair when I was frozen.”

“Oh, good, we take space hemophilia very seriously here. Blue eyes, correct?”


“Do you weigh 190 pounds?”

“Sounds about right.”

“You are 5 and 10?”

He had to decipher the statement first. “Yes.”

“You have a tattoo of a woodpecker(?) on your right butt cheek?”

He remembered alcohol. “Yes.”

“Alright, we’re done for now, in fifteen minutes we’ll begin your ‘debriefing’.” She made air quotes, unsure as an alien might wave a hang ten sign. “There is a robe that should fit you on the other side of the door. Step cautiously, you haven’t walked in sometime. The floor is cushioned for your protection.”

She left promptly for what Aidan assumed to be akin to a smoke break with the rapid departure. As he made his first step in the year 6007, he fell flat on his face. The cushioning was comfortable and he did not seem to have broken anything. He regretted not sleeping before the freeze.

After a slight bit of maneuvering, he began to prop himself on the now sealed glass door’s handle. He was able to grab the robe off the hook before collapsing on the floor again. After a few minutes trying to get the thing around him proper, he gave up. He simply resigned to enjoy the cushioning with his ass in the air and the robe draped around him. An unseen door opened and he heard a muffled giggle.

She promptly brought over a wooden chair with a ladder back which she held steady. He looked up at it annoyed and slightly hungover.

“Don’t you have a special gizmo for this?”

“The chair usually works.”

He couldn’t argue with her. Slowly he climbed the furniture and stood hunched over it. Through many awkward assisted maneuvers, he finally put on the robe and sat down on the chair. Then he tied his belt.

“You have another tattoo that anthropologists say indicates your status as a warrior. Were you frozen as punishment?”

“US Army Infantry, but no I wasn’t, I wasn’t even aware that happened. It was my choice, I was faced with something called stop loss. My superiors wanted me to go back to a war after I had done my tour.”

“So you’re a coward?”

“Not as I would I put it, but you’re pretty and you gave me a bathrobe, so I won’t hold it against you.”

“Sorry English isn’t my first language.”

“What is?”

“Esquiva. Don’t worry we have very good teachers.” She looked down at the clipboard. “Do you have any skills?”

“I’m good in close quarters combat, I took two years of dance and I can cook.”

Slowly, she framed to decipher the first clause, failing that she continued on.

“Well, we are short of cooks and dancers. Um, we’re done with this so do you mind if I take down my hair?”

He shrugged, slightly confused. She proceeded to remove her hair and put on a close by table.

“Hygiene regulations don’t allow us hair if we work with sleepers but people tend to be frightened if the first thing they see is a bald head.”

He soaked in the shininess of her head.

“Can we go get a beer?”

“I’m afraid alcohol out of fashion.”

“Just as well, what about Cocoa?”

“Is that the sweet brown bean that you crush in milk?”

“Yeah.” Culinary discussions would come later.

“I love that stuff. It’s called brown moo juice now, but your word is better. Co co right?”


“Cool. You’re uninfected so I’ll just fuck the red tape and get you a wheelchair.”

“You mean fudge right?”

“Sure.” She placated his gibberish and promptly left with an excuse to drink brown moo juice on the job.

There is cocoa and therefore hope.

The Banjo Stole My Soul

There is no magic left in this world, it was taken with his hands and I watched him as he sucked away everything I’d ever cared for. He took my depths and added them to his own. I can neither love nor hate, my capacity has been taken and I know it somehow ended up in those old gray eyes.

When I saw him first, I was eight and he was impossibly old: forty two. I was in the basement of the library alongside eight other children who had absolutely nowhere to be on a summer morning. The other adult seemed more interested than we were, he held a very good poker face.

He sang old folk standards and terrible new children’s songs. Surely, we were not to high brow for this but we were uninterested. As he butchered and censored Greenback Dollar, something went wrong in me. Little by little, I realized I wanted nothing. As I was poor, I thought it a boon. I waved goodbye to my cares as his strangely tedious songs took them from me. Being young and apathetic, I was recognized as cool.

I coasted through elementary and junior high. With good looks and no personality people tended to mold me in their mind into something. My long black product laden locks made me goth. My lanky taut body made me an athlete. My limpid green eyes made me a poet. It was the best I could hope for, because I had little hope.

In high school, the absence of my emotion became more apparent with the teen dramas available on so many networks. As I watched Chloe mourn the death of her sister, I remembered that my father had died a year ago and I never said a word. I realized that this might have been peculiar. It occurred to me that a man with a banjo may have stolen my soul and I was displeased.

I couldn’t muster any more emotion than displeasure about anything. I recognized this as a problem as society frowns on those that can’t really frown. It would be quite hard to live without cares and I knew I wasn’t to be bother with anything so difficult. My plan was to drive until I found him; sadly apathy does not make one rational, only uncaring.

As I entered Boomland in it’s Missouri location (being a Canadian, I am unaware if it is a franchise or not), I was struck by something I hadn’t felt in years. That is to say I was struck by feeling. It was mostly numb but it was enough for me to put down the hamburger which I realized was pretty middling and unappetizing. Right there, I screamed like a baby being slapped it in the ass. I hadn’t felt in so long.

I realized that I had myself my own emotional divining rod. I drove and drove until I started to feel numb and adjusted accordingly towards my feeling. Looking back, I should be thankful that the man never took an airplane. No, I found my soul stealer to be a bus rider as my emotions correlated with a 5:00 am from Kansas City to Denver.

at the Denver bus station, it hit me that my mother was probably worried sick about me. I knew I was getting close to him. Through this new found guilt, I persevered onwards with the bull headed stupidness afforded a teenager. In a stadium, I found that he had switched to interesting and catchy rock n’ roll. He was rocking with my emotions and I was getting none of the credit. The crowd was cheering on his stolen anger.

For the first time, I was outraged, then ecstatic at the fact that I could be outraged. It was like breathing pure oxygen. I was loopy and high off these new emotions. I realized I had to stay with him. I’ve been a roadie ever since.

Anyways, My name is Carl and I’m addicted to a musician.

I’m not quite sure if I belong with NarcAnon honestly.

Her Violent And Rapid Beauty

The date was not going well. Penny was ugly beyond metaphor and while only an aesthetic condition it was a daunting hurdle for James. Her unibrow flexed and softened as she slowly built a castle of toothpicks. She was use to awkward silences. She licked her stiff protruding lips as she meditated on the architectural traits of her building. Her big purple sweater was a detriment to her achievement. Slowly, it came to her that buttresses are unnecessary.

“So, are you ever going to speak to me?”

He decided promptly to rejoin his body in the conversation. He looked in her clay red eyes, obscured by nappy hair.

“James, I’ve looked in a mirror before. I know what I look like.”

“I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t part of it.”

His fettuccine carbonara was still nowhere in sight, the waiter had left some thirty minutes ago, leaving them chianti and awkward silence.

“It’s not like I much of a catch either.”

He wasn’t. Doughy white men of average strength and intelligence are only considered a catch if they are endowed by inheritance or natural luck.

“Damn, that waiter is taking forever.”

As if summoned by curse, a shiny pair of black shoes was next to them within moments.

“My name is Gregory and I will be your waiter today.”

“Well Greg, Dave is…”

Penny turned and saw a dyed red son of a bitch in a waiter’s outfit that was just slightly to small for him. This one had an ugly habit for a murder.

“Dave is dead and we’re not getting our food.”

She was very calm, this was her minutia.

“You’ve always been intuitive Penny.”

“And you’ve always been a sadistic little shit Trevor. Don’t worry James, this will be over real soon.”

James was perplexed and noticing a white pearl J sticking out of the waiter’s vest. J was the friendly end of a revolver, although James would find it more friendly in written correspondence. The waiter was smiling with wolfish implications displayed broadly, teeth and all. This Trevor was a bad man.

“Is this little puke keeping you here?”

“General courtesy and retirement stays me, I’m done.”

“So, you’re giving up? Just when we got the retainer with Sasha.”

“Sasha accepted my resignation, he had to.”

“Well damn girl.”

Trevor withdrew a bowie knife sheathed on his back. The short sword shined in the pale candle light.

“First, the beau, then I’ll ask again.”

A glug could be heard but Trevor didn’t quite comprehend quickly enough. The remains of the chianti was soon in the carpet, the bottle was crashing into Trevor’s head. Shards of glass decorated the floor of the quaint little Italian Eatery. While the knife was firmly out of reach, the revolver was in hand and dazed Trevor was still present enough to shoot but maybe not aim.

As Trevor pushed the hammer down, Penny was taking a page from pro wrestling and using a chair as a club. The bam went south into the apparently empty bar. As he lined the bevel back in tune with her center mass, she was stepping forward left and jabbing right. He was fumbling backwards and feeling inebriated. He tried to lift the old hog leg at her once more but she had his wrist in that vice of her’s and he had to let go.

Her tiny little pistol was untucked left handed from somewhere in the small of her back and Trevor was executed with Penny’s offhand. She sighed.

“If he didn’t have that John Wayne fetish, you’d be dead.”

“Was I suppose to do something?”

“No hon.”

“Should we get going.”

“Don’t worry this place is empty. I just had Dave with us tonight.”

Somewhere between the slaying of an asshole and the revelation that Penny owned an Italian restaurant, she started to look more appealing.

“So, what now?”

“Well, if you don’t mind the mess I say we go into the kitchen and see if our food is there.”

He could grow to love this woman.

The Centennial Patron

I don’t drink to remember or forget, I drink to drink. I drink alone and I drink often. It’s how I sleep, it’s how I deal. I’m good at it too. I can drink while others die, while others party, while others live. I am a drunk for all seasons. I’ve been such a thing since my 25th birthday some hundred years ago. It’s just what I do.

Time is of course relative and my drunk years may not match the rotation of the Earth. I do know that between the last call and first scotch, it all moves quickly. Then after I get my first scotch everything slows back down. Why the world is capable of being so easily dilated is a question for physicists and I, a drunk am barely able to understand. It’s completely impossible for me to explain.

I work my ass off in the brief time between drinks and I expect to be served promptly as I have been a patron here since Hector was a pup. Why I remember drinking here the very night they tore down the wall. No one thought they would, not even the Greeks. I remember looking up at the television and realizing I was watching history right then and there.

Sadly, even my patronage has it limits, I can’t abide by this Sunday silliness you insist on propagating. I have taken my scotch and left you with the proper change. I will pay for the window in installments.

Oh Letterman, My Letterman

Martin Trumbo senior class president of Broad Ripple High School (2002-2010), died in his bed late Wednesday night of a heart attack. He will be mostly remembered for his controversial support of the theory of mutually assured destruction and the activation of the JROTC.

Some critics were quick to point out that the Warren Township School District had never made any overtly aggressive postures outside of the purview of sports. His supporters retorted that the military occupation of Warren Central High was “awesome” and actually quite beneficial to the local economy.

According to popular consensus, it was indeed a boon. During the year of 2003, the local population of Broad Ripple grew rich in saxophones and square pizzas. These were truly our salad option days, and we thought they would never end.

Traditionally, the senior class president steps down after he graduates. Despite the disadvantage of being enrolled in college, President Trumbo broke with tradition and kept his office for the 2003-2004 school year. He mostly regulated decisions to his cabinet. The school year was uneventful.

2005 marked the return of the President to the campus, freshly expelled from college for as the transcript reads: being just awful. With the new year, President Trumbo instated taxes to pay his loans. Some wondered if this was constitutional, others wondered how he kept on getting in the building.

2006 heralded some important changes in Broad Ripple High School. Warren Central was officially annexed and given a seat in the ridiculously impotent parliament. Also, somewhere in the southern slums, an old military base had been re purposed as a gulag. The locals were less than pleased.

2007 marked a time of upheaval for Broad Ripple High School. The military sponsored revolving craps game was put under scrutiny by this very paper for having loaded dice. In the south, the gulag was full and the vocational students who already resided there were beginning to take umbrage. President Trumbo’s light beer addiction grew more and more impossible to hide.

In 2008, Trumbo was put under review by the school board. Serious questions were raised pertaining to how a relatively minor puppet government had managed to occupy two other high schools without any interference from the police or local school board. Since no one had an answer, it was decided that it was best left alone.

As you probably know between 2008 and 2010, the republic Rocketonia was given complete autonomy from the municipal authorties. The schools quickly lost all power and soon the plumbing was completely clogged. Martin Trumbo himself had acquired a classroom to serve as his bedroom. There he would remain for the rest of his reign.

We are all left in the shadow of truly remarkable and impossible man. He is survived by his two children Maurice and Shelly, and his three wives Cynthia, Laura and Shelly(?). Visitations we’ll take place at the Natatorium in the gulag at midnight. RSVP BYOB

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