Archive for the fiction Category

Fame by Alex S. Johnson

Posted in fiction on February 18, 2014 by Alex S. Johnson

There’s a microphone, and then another. I find myself behind a podium in a hall that is decorated with posters of luminous worms and crawling creatures from the Id. A small crowd gathers. Among them are a few I recognize and many I don’t. A few are carrying books with titles like Humongous Tit Monster and Savage Ass Lice. I discern from the muttering among the Boschian grotesques that there is discontent in the ranks. But with whom? I pinch myself again to ensure that it’s all real and not some crazy dream. Someone offers me a large hunk of hair, the size of a small dog. What am I to do with this snarled mass? She shrugs her shoulders. I nod, trying to assimilate the new information. “Thanks,” I say. “You’re welcome.” Her eyes are like whirlpools of blazing jelly. It’s hard to determine her tone. Is she being sarcastic or is this a genuine token of affection. I take the hair and stuff it into my shirt pocket.

The microphone snaps and screams. “Hot mic,” I say as it transforms in my hands into a timber rattler. Horrified, I toss the mic into the crowd. It lands squarely on the girl’s bald patch and eats its way into her skull.

“Traitor!” she screams. I look around, trying to find the target of her rage. “Heretic!” I realize that she’s pointing directly at me. I feel something scrape my shins. Looking down, I see an army of robot toys with leveled knife attachments.

“Let’s not jump to any hasty conclusions,” says someone behind the girl. The robot toys fall on him and he is borne away protesting. “The man didn’t do anything!” “No?” screams the girl. “Then I suppose my hair just yanked itself out and got replaced by a snake! And this bastard had nothing to do with it!”

“What did he do?” asks another voice, which is immediately muted.

“He’s trying to steal our fans!”

“What?”

“Yes!” says a kid, about 25. He has worms streaming out of his eye sockets. His clothes are shredded and he smells of moonshine from five yards away. “He tried to segregate me!”

“Segregationist!” The crowd grows louder and angrier.

“Look,” I say, attempting calm. “You called me out here to this press conference to ask me questions. I tried to answer them as best I could. Then my microphone turned into a snake. I suppose it happens sometimes.”

“Liar!”

“Shit talker!”

“You–literary person!”

I can’t help but smile as the crowd shrinks. The longer I look at them, the smaller they get. From this altitude they resemble oddly shaped insects. It’s difficult to hear their tinny, helium-laced voices. Finally there is silence.

So much for fame.

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That Darn Frumple! by Alex S. Johnson

Posted in fiction on January 15, 2014 by Alex S. Johnson

Sam awoke from the usual tedious dreams of cockroaches to find himself intact on his bed. Frumple sat at the foot, staring at him with huge emerald green eyes.

“Whoa, shit, for a second there I thought I was trapped inside a Franz Kakfa story. Hey, how come I can see you all the time now?”

Frumple yawned and stretched his paws.

“Well, are you going to say something?” He groaned. “What time is it? I need a fucking smoke.”

“Good luck,” said Frumple.

“Don’t tell me you’ve hidden my cigs again. Look, I gave up solvents, PCP, mescaline, alcohol, shit-huffing, corpse-sniffing, even gerbils. I need a fookin’ hit, man!”

“You’ve been watching Trainspotting again, I see.”

“Yeah, because it’s a great movie. So many good lines in that thing. ‘Better than any fucking cock in the world.’ You never gave me a line like that. I had to steal it from Irvine Welsh.”

“Oh, now I’m responsible for your acts of literary theft?”

“No, no, I’m not saying that at all. Just that you sit there and look at me and it makes me feel…guilty. Uncomfortable. Hey, I thought I sold you to that traveling circus.”

“Right, now you’re selling me off. Frankly, I think you’re a lazy, lazy shit. What kind of writer are you? You used to get up at 6:00 in the morning and write these crazed sorta kinda cyberpunk like stories before the internal critic hit you and you got paralyzed.”

“Yeah, man, well I don’t know which is worse, you or the internal critic.”

“You really wound me. I should scratch the shit out of you.”

“Go on, scratch. Scratch me. Might wake me up. Damn, I feel so itchy. Uncomfortable. Nervous. And I could really use a smoke.”

“Okay, your wish is my command. Just write something.”

“I lost my mojo.”

“What are you talking about? Your mojo was just fine yesterday. Weren’t you working on that black metal gothic horror doom thing?”

“Lost it. Ran out of steam.”

“You are getting right back on that horse and no mistake. Or maybe you’re beyond the simple carrot and stick approach now.” The cat jumped down from the bed and ran into the kitchen. Sam could hear shelves being banged. Then the cat ran back with a pack of cigarettes in its mouth. It coolly lit one up in front of him. Sam sniffed the smoke. Ah, there was simply nothing like second hand smoke. Maybe it was deadlier than the first-hand version, but boy did it smell great. He began to salivate.

“You know where the computer is,” said the cat.

“You are just a pestilent arsehole with no morals or compunction whatsoever, Frumple. When I need you, you ain’t there, and when you ain’t there, I can’t write, and when I can’t write, I get on that fucking Facebook thing and by the time I’ve finished ‘liking’ every post in my feed, it’s time for lunch and then dinner and then my day is totally shot.”

“You blame me for a lot of things,” said Frumple.

“Because you are guilty of a lot of things,” said Sam.

“Such as?”

“As a muse, you’re more than inconvenient. You leave me hanging just when I’m about to solve a plot problem and then you start to play around with the narrative. You…”

Frumple yawned. “So? I think we’ve established that already. Keeps you on your toes, doesn’t it?”

“On my toes? Not exactly. More like trying to do triage after a traffic accident. I can practically smell the burning rubber and hear the screams of desperation. People are trapped down there and there’s nothing I can do. Too mangled, too ripped. Give us a fookin’ hit!”

“Hey, did you hear that?”

“No, what?”

“I think it’s your two favorite guys. Sweet and Joe.”

“Fucking soft detectives? Now? They aren’t even real police!”

There was a heavy knock on the door.

“Go away!” shouted Sam.

“You gotta let us in, dude. We’re material. How much material do you have in there anyway?”

“Look, I’ve already got the cat, and he stole my cigs! I am in no mood. I’m getting withdrawals, my hands are shaking, my brain is fuzzing over, and if you don’t go away you will learn the true meaning of the term ‘chump-wax.'”

The door eased open and Sweetback Glide stuck his head in. “Oh dude, you have got to clean this place. It’s filthy. When do you do laundry?”

“Haven’t done laundry since you guys made off with all my Tide.”

“Hey, that was some good shit. Sold it to these Albanians. Made a clean profit and bought some more. It’s all good as long as you don’t poach your own stash. And there is no way I’m getting a Tide jones. That stuff will rot your brain in no time.”

Joe chuckled.

“Oh, what, you think that’s ironic? Didn’t you get the memo? Just noticing a disparity between two apparent facts and commenting on it does not make you a clever motherfucker. It just makes you annoying.”

“Since you let yourselves in and you’re here anyway, why don’t you make yourselves at home?” said Sam. “I’m going to hop in the shower and then I’m going to the market and stock up on cartons. Man, I can practically taste them. That is what I am talking about.”

“Is Jesus your niggah?”

“Huh?”

“I’ve heard that kind of talk before, and the cracker always winds up praying to Jesus for guidance. Why would you need Jesus when you’ve got Frumple? Or us?”

“Are you saying you’re better than Jesus?”

“Not better, but more here and present. Me and Joe, we’re the new Jesus.”

“So much for not poaching your own stash. Anyway, I have to shower. Could you guys like, make me some breakfast or something like that? Eggs and bacon. And none of those runny eggs. And the bacon needs to be crisp.”

Sweetback laid his purple pimp hat on the dresser drawer next to Sam’s bed and shrugged off his jacket which was lined with what looked like real Jaguati fur. “Joe, the man wants breakfast.”

“What do I look like, a short-order cook? Homey don’t play that.”

“Are you guys going to sit around and squabble and basically waste my time?”

“You wanted material. Oh, so now you better than some material just walks right in your front door and gets comfortable. Man thinks he’s better than the material.”

Joe plunked himself down in an easy chair. “If we ain’t material, what is?”

“I’ve got the fucking cat!” screamed Sam.

“Imaginary cat,” said Joe under his breath.

“So, he’s an imaginary cat, but I claim him.”

“I always look better in contrast, don’t I?” said Frumple. “You take me for granted. I should just walk right out this door and never come back.”

“Don’t go,” said Sam. “Look, I’m sorry, again. I’m just frustrated. Every day I get up and I swear to myself I’m going to write. Stick to one project. Get that cannibal story out of the way, maybe, or the sequel to that western, or my horror novel…”

“The problem with you is,” said Sweetback, “is simple. You think you’re better than genre. So you make fun of genres. But then when it comes time to prove that you can actually do it, whether it’s a western or cannibalsploitation or horror, you start throwing out the rules. Laughing at them. You think genre likes that? You think you can just play around with pulp fiction?”

“You may have a valid point,” said Sam. “But I’m in no mood to argue it. Right now I just want to get myself clean and dressed and maybe, just maybe, Frumple here will give me a smoke. Just one. One cigarette, and you can hide them again and do whatever you need to do to annoy the shit out of me until my nerves are frayed and I’ve lost even more hair and I’m basically crazed.”

“Frumple, you happy here?”

“Not really,” said Frumple.

“Let’s leave this sad sack in the mess he made for himself,” said Sweet.

Frumple jumped on Sweetback’s shoulder and Sweetback, Joe and Frumple left.

Sam walked over to his iMac, reluctantly tapped the left-hand button on his silver mouse and began to type. “Sam awoke from the usual tedious dreams of cockroaches…”

Frumple by Alex S. Johnson

Posted in fiction with tags on January 13, 2014 by Alex S. Johnson

His hands typed but his mind was elsewhere. He was thinking of the spectacular mess he had come home to the previous night. The last thing he needed after a night of partying was to be confronted with the leavings of Frumple, the imaginary cat. It was almost inconceivable what havoc an imaginary pet could wreak, at least to Sam’s friends, but to Sam the inconceivable had become a daily affair. His cigarettes and coffee went missing, which was intolerable, and even with a bloated stomach and a head that kept shifting size he was obligated to make another run to the liquor store that was open until liquor couldn’t be legally sold. The man who owned, Marv Plotken, was a fierce old bastard and the cash register was a rusty and recalcitrant antique. Sometimes the Plotken aimed his finger at the cash register like a gun and pulled it for no apparent reason. Was he getting back at ancient enemies by some metaphysical means or had he simply lost his mind? Sam didn’t care. Cursing Frumple and the circumstances that bound them together, he wearily rose from his writing desk, shrugged on his jacket and opened the door. The icy wind hit him full in the face. There was a part of him that even blamed Frumple for the weather, which might seem peculiar if you didn’t know Frumple as well as Sam did.

“You shouldn’t smoke,” said Plotken, squeezing his index finger. Sam thought he saw the cash register shake and a tiny puff of smoke curl out from the drawer, which opened of its own accord. Plotken banged the drawer shut. Sam was used to this kind of contrary behavior and just pointed at the stack of his favorite brand, Deadly Strikes, which sat on a countertop of its own as though waiting for him. Ploken took Sam’s money and handed him his change, tattered one dollar bills and green coins. There was no use arguing that the currency was on its last legs and he’d have trouble exchanging it for anything. Sam took the small paper bag containing the instant coffee and two packs of Deadlies and was about to leave when he thought he heard a cat’s faint mewing from the back. Plotken glared at him as if telling him to mind his own business, but Sam was curious. He had long suspected Plotken of fobbing Frumple off to him some time ago under similar conditions in a paper bag not unlike this one.

He wondered if other writers had similar problems. Did Harlan Ellison have his own Frumple, and if so, how did he handle it? Frumple was not the worst imaginary pet anyone could possible have, except that the cat usually appeared when Sam was right on the verge of solving a narrative problem or untying a knot in the plot that hadn’t been there five minutes ago, when the characters had begun to talk to him and the dialog was flowing like a clear mountain stream. Perhaps the cat was not his nemesis at all, but simply a fucked-up postmodern variety of muse. But in that case, the owner of the liquor store took on a different aspect. And that was supposing that the owner had indeed snuck Frumple into the bag along with the smokes and the coffee only two months previously.

Imaginary cat or no, the two months had been murder on his creative flow. No sooner had he introduced a new character than the character developed insane quirks and insisted on relating an entirely new story, or suddenly inserted a frame into the narrative that required another frame to accommodate it, and so forth, until Sam was headed in the direction of yet another mis-en-abyme. He had sworn off the hall-of-mirrors approach to writing but the cat was very much a fan, and as long as Sam was stuck with the dreadful feline he was forced to work through the animal’s channels.

Sam considered again his theory about Plotken and Frumple’s origins. If the cat were indeed imaginary, then it stood to reason that its characteristics could be adjusted to a new owner. Sam knew little about Plotken except that he was a nasty old bugger with straw-colored patches of hair sprouting from his wrinkled pink skull and that he smelled of exotic essential oils. His gnarled hands were frosted with tiny white scars like little mouths and he usually wore a neatly knotted red velvet bow tie. There was nothing unusual about him aside from the mind games he played with Sam over cigarettes and the shooting at the register, but his eyes held something uncanny. If that something was a stronger imagination than his own, then the cat would need extensive retraining. The trouble with that plan was manifold: first he would have to find Frumple, and Frumple was invisible except on Sundays when he appeared to be a fat tabby with wicked green eyes who lived in the closet.

Firing up a Deadly Strike, Sam faced the blank screen again. He thought he could hear something scrabbling in the closet. He shut his eyes. The sound stopped. He began to type: “His hands typed but his mind was elsewhere.” It seemed he had written this sentence before. Standing up, he walked over to the closet and violently pushed the door along its hinges. “I know you’re there, you shit! Don’t think just because you’re imaginary I can’t have you put down.”

“Oh yeah?” Sam whirled around. Now the cat was sitting at the desk in front of Sam’s computer, pounding the keys with his claws. Sam stood over the cat to see what he was writing.

“Frumple’s problems with Sam were never-ending. The man appeared to suffer from the delusion that Frumple was interfering with his creative flow, driving his plots into endless divagations, also known as ‘hall of mirrors syndrome,’ and either acting as a problematic muse or a complex problem that Sam could not solve on his own. From the cat’s perspective, it was the man who was ceaselessly trying to correct very elegant and deliberate riddles Frumple had introduced into the narrative. Frumple was only trying to help, because the man was hopelessly committed to a linear approach and the cat was well aware that linearity was not the man’s strong suit. Had he been born in different circumstances, perhaps, but the seeds of a baroque fashion of writing modeled after Bach’s keyboard concertos had been sewn in his childhood. Frumple missed the relative simplicity of the liquor store, where he sat in the stock room on a crate of chartreuse dreaming of Swiss monks. The old man left him alone, and in return, Frumple did his accounts, although he couldn’t help but play tricks with the cash register–as a kitten, he had been fascinated by this very same, antique model.”

“We appear to be stuck with one another,” said Sam after reading the cat’s paragraph. Puzzled, the cat leapt down from the chair and disappeared through the half-open door into the night.

He decided that instead of erasing the cat’s work he would save it as a separate file. As he had never interacted with the cat to the extent he had that night, he wondered if the cat usually returned. He lifted the keyboard and shook free the wiry black hairs that Frumple had left, then started another file.

“Perhaps,” Sam wrote, “the cat who had just left him wasn’t Frumple after all, but a copy-cat of some kind.” The thought tormented him in actual fact. He saved the sentence and shut down the computer.

When he awoke, he saw immediately that the computer had been restarted and a fresh file created. Wiping the crust from his eyes, he eased himself into his chair, lit up a Deadly Strike and read.

“Not only can I copy myself, I can add, subtract, multiply and divide. A Frumple by any other name is just a goad, a spike, a kick in the pants. You think you can avoid me by giving up the writing game, as you do regularly whenever you face a challenge. I am here to remind you that there will always be challenges. Try to write a straight sentence, and you may see a twist coming that you never intended. Try to write a twist and it may just smooth itself out. Regardless, you cannot quit and as long as you create I will be here. As a torment sometimes, a guide when you least expect it, and the pattern of symbolic ink on paper. There is no need to berate me, to argue and complain that you can do without me, or crave my attention or try to summon me in a tight spot or rid yourself of my presence when you feel the flow come. If it weren’t for my claws and tail and sparkling green eyes and yes, the occasional spray, you would have no desire to place word after word, sentence after sentence, symbol after symbol and theme after theme together until something strange and wonderful emerges from the torture you have chosen as a career. The damn cat will always be back, my friend. And incidentally, you asked for me when you first entered that store. Sure, you wanted stimulation, but for what? To agitate your spun nerves and squeeze out yet another chunk of verbiage that nobody may ever see. To strike the keyboard and wait and puzzle over the noun that seeks a verb that waits to pounce upon an object, like a cat with a mouse. Or a Frumple with an imaginary writer. Well, you may not be the luckiest fool who ever aspired to be a scribe, but you’re damn near close. I’m there saving those sentences you delete and binding them together as you sleep, until one day you will arise and all those aborted phrases and clauses will spring to life again, stretching at first, looking around, realizing that there is no impediment that stands in their way and that nothing prevents them from becoming–the poem, the story, the novel. Or at least the first chapter. By the time you read this you will have completed your first real lesson in writing. Take it from me, as I can take care of myself. Yours, Fondly, Frumple.”

Fiction

Posted in fiction on July 8, 2013 by Alex S. Johnson

Clockwork Girl

by Deborah D. Knealing

She put the spring with the others, fingers wet from her efforts. “There’s too many of these,” she thought, a little bird fluttering in the cage of her chest, “I’ll never find them all.”  

Somewhere, far away, someone screamed, the ragged, raw sound breaking her concentration. She gnashed silver fillings, jaw taunt, annoyed as she tore the gelatinous orb from its socket. Fingers dived, squishing and pushing, mining the little cogs and wheels from their fleshy concealment.

Dark waves obscured her vision temporarily, echoing the clockwork that whirled in her mind. She howled with frustration and spit another loosened tooth into the basin. It clanged like a trolley.

The empty housing that was her shin hung like an old, wet mop from her knee. Standing had long ago become elusive; she sat instead, on a bed which had become a nest of ivory tinker toys, the smallest of which pooled in an aluminum bedpan.

“I…ammm…a mechanical boy, my heart a mechanical toy. I never have lived, so I never grow old…” she mouthed, trying to sing as brass bumble bees swarmed in her ears. A hairpin wriggled into the base of her skull, catching on the wheels that clicked and clacked in measured intervals, like the pounding of an axe on wood. She tasted the coppery evidence with a sigh of relief. 

Words spilled from the loose worms of her lips, muffed by the sheets she rested, finally, on. “Told…em. True, I did.” A very large egg cracked somewhere nearby, exploding into the roar of a crowd. It frightened the little bird in her chest away, leaving nothing behind.

  

 

Electric Winter

by Jon R. Meyers

 

The atmosphere inside of the room was thick and radiant. Wavering elastic bolts of electricity hummed and surged through parallel lines of a diverse infrastructure.

Magdalene had just learned how to speak her first words. She spoke electric currents in short breaths. The smell of analog cream pie always reminded her of the bitter cold, just outside the outer shell of the core.

Families sat restless amongst each other inside of frozen windows, as they waited for the war to end.

“It shouldn’t be much longer,” they’d say.

But, it was. It was so much longer.

It almost felt like it would never end.

The smell of death lingered in open circuitry through the walls of the core. The city was a mere disaster waiting for a sign of black hope. As people beckoned for help, they gathered in sadness, together in hard times, as winter had begun to take its toll.

The electric sadness seemed to gain strength as months came and went. Like clockwork, time stopped on its axis and everything froze in its tracks.

Like icicles, we stood still and waited to fall. We waited to hit the ground, shattering existence, strengthening black hope.

And when our time comes… We will be ready.

Or, maybe we won’t. I don’t know. Slow motion blurs at the rate of which a flower would grow.

We snuggled deep inside of copper coaxial bedding lined with nothing but white memories; our dreary and starving eyes awaiting the fall, as if winter never even spoke to us at all in its whisper.                                                

 The Last Romance of Philip K. Dick

By David Anderson

Part I: Store 21334

Outside of a shitty Kentucky Walmart, an employee dumped the extra copies of the new Total Recall movie into the trashcan behind the garden center. His manager wanted to recoup some of the loss from the poor selling title, and the story was that these DVDs got ‘damaged’ by a water leak and they couldn’t sell.  By law they had to trash the movies, otherwise they couldn’t write them off at tax time.


“I wish we could donate these or something,” said the warehouse guy, Kenny.  Kenny was in his early twenties, and had large gauged earrings he was constantly ‘growing’ the size of.

“This isn’t a fucking charity Kenny,” said Albert Maplebrook, owner of store 21334.  Albert called it the twenty one thirty three, and looked kindly upon his store, like it was a person.  This was his home, now, his wife had the house.  He was divorced, and mostly lived out of his car.  But he had the twenty one thirty three, or store 21334, and that was all that mattered.

* * *

Part II: Run your own Small Business

Dump it for Fucking Cheap was a great business idea in a bad economy.  They would take anything you needed to get rid of, and would dump it.  No questions asked, on either end.  Qussar Medical Industrial Products and Services needed the toxic leftovers of the new Viagra test disposed of.  Instead of animating dicks, it re-animated them, giving erections to dead or inanimate objects.  Qussar Medical Industrial Products and Services was fucked, they needed to hide the results and dump the waste before their Shareholders found out.  Dump it for Fucking Cheap was their savior, willing to just take all the shit and ‘promise’ to get rid of it somewhere.

* * *

Part III: A Dick for Dick

It was weird how it happened, but it happened.  A pile of Total Recall DVDs, the remake not the original, was now a sentient lifeform, coming into existence in the middle of the night.  It was a lifeform with a problem, though, as it had a raging erection, and needed desperately to extinguish the fire in its newfound loins.  It had been brought to life just outside the Garden Center, but being a former part of the electronics section, it knew its way around.

It had one goal in life now; it wanted to fuck the rotting remains of Philip K. Dick, it wanted to fuck them into oblivion.  It located a cellphone booth and activated the floor model, searching online for burial information on Philip K. Dick.

“Riverside cemetery, in Fort Morgan, Colorado,” the thing whispered to itself.  It memorized the directions, but before it left, it had one little stop to make.  The creature went to the DVD aisle, and picked up a copy of Blade Runner.  It caressed Harrison Ford’s face, and then set the plastic case down.

“No tears,” it said to itself.  “Tonight is to be a night of romance.”  It strode into the night, headed for the Rocky Mountains.

    

 Jezebel

by C.A. James

 

I am a whore.  

And with loaded gun and my mouth turning tricks I spew your secrets to the floor in a pool of self-deprecating shit.  Which one?  I seek my salvation from the pew in the back of the church. I listen to the preacher rail about sin while watching her from his pulpit with lustrous eyes of black and a serpent’s tongue.  She is beautiful, pure.  She looks to her husband with adoring eyes and softened hands as her stomach rounds with newfound life.  And he looks back, an oblivious fool drowning in the depths of a love that is as painted on as my face.

~*~

Such a beautiful child my precious, he whispers as he strokes her hair and stares adoringly into the eyes of his newborn son.  

Whose eyes do you think he has?

~*~


They stone me, with eyes of hate.  They damn me, with lips of the cruelest jade.  They curse me in the light of day and in the dead of night they fuck me.

Jezebel

The name falls from his lips like a bead of sweat.  It collects upon my chest, seeps within to mark my heart.  Slash of a lover’s tongue.  Scar of a lover’s unclenched fist.  My John, of the roughened hands and manicured nails, of the sweet words and the fiery touch, I hate you.

Why?

For coming, for leaving, for breathing, for being

I seek my salvation with a blade of ice.  Sharpened metal against pearly white, it glistens with the red of blood, warm and free.  It is my release, the comfort on a cold night in an empty bed smelling of smoke and sex.

~*~


He came back last night. That man without a face. He watched from the dark with his nothing smiles and his grimacing smirks. He laughs as my thoughts turn inward and fall upon the floor as nothing more than the tears of my disgrace. Or disgust for myself, who knows which. I will kneel and I will pray. I will beg and I will plead. But never will he lend a hand. Never will he point the way.

This no name man…

This white plaster silhouette of humorless wit, this painstakingly clear reflection of the black inside my soul…


He haunts me, stalks. He scratches his nails down the back of my dreams and rips them into throbbing shreds of morose insanity. He straps me to the pulsing cock of his perverse reality and fucks my fears like the whore of Sodom.

Jezebel

Jezebel

The name is a whisper screamed in my ear. I desire it. I need it.

Like you need it.

Death

Night

Silence

What is left of my innocence lays grasped within his palm. And there is nothing  to do except lay sedate, wishing for a time when this rape of emotion ends, when the pain is nothing more than a tingle of numbness spreading across my skin and his laughter but an echo snuffed by the wind.

~*~

The fucking fools. Where does their warmth come from, when they seek it from bloodless fires? How do they breathe through an air laden with the smut of their own fouled breath? The breath of bigots wandering strung out on their own paths to righteousness.

I roll my thumb against the bared joint of my wrist: stretching the skin taut and blanching it with the pressure.

So many of them walking to their own personal hell, my laughter is uncontainable. They damn themselves. They are all drones. Don’t condemn me my life when it is the only honest lie you can taste. Pay me for your salvation and I’ll swallow your sins completely. Walk away content in your momentary cleanliness.

My pussy is the only god who is going to listen.

 

All in Vein

by Pd Lietz

I actually tripped over her as she crouched against the wall shooting slick into her veins. A wisp of a thing wasted away by the need for the drug. Wasted away by the memories that haunted her. Too late to say anything, her beautiful smile engaging, her bleary eyes in no man’s land.

Going to the grocery store took a whole new meaning and now I mistrusted her truth. We had met at a support group five years ago. Clean, sober and full of hope.

Shit.

All it took was one little trigger. She felt worthless in a callous, self absorbed world where she would slip away from me faster than a fish in water. During holidays she never felt she measured up. How wrong she was, but that was more then enough to make her take a dive. I knew it was just a matter of time when circumstances would all come together.

I squatted beside her, watching her fade, tears down cheeks. One more overdose and she might not make it as there was talk of a pace maker the last time.

Santa stood on the street corner ringing his damn bell. Perfect ruse for selling the junk he hid in his red suit. Merry Christmas to you too, asshole.