I’m kind of proud of this one…

Jim the Farmer Boy and Bob the Dark Lord had been best friends for ages. When they were boys, oh did they have their fights. As the grew, it became apparent that one would never go anywhere without the other. While the women waited for their woos, Jim and Bob tramped off on adventure after adventure.


“Hey, Jim, look at this!” Bob said to his best friend, Jim the Farmer Boy. Bob held a rock in his hand that shone with the light of a thousand smaller lights. “It’s a trigger stone!”

“Whoa, those are like super rare!” Jim said to his best friend, Bob the Dark Lord. Jim approached Bob and tried to take the trigger stone from his hand. “”Just let me see it.”

“What, you can’t see it from there?” Bob challenged as he backed away, cupping the precious stone close his fist. “It’s mine, okay?”

Jim shook his head with a tainted scowl on his face and drew his mighty sword. No words were spoken as Jim chased Bob down, only the occasional guttural sound of a beast hunting down its prey. Jim almost struck at Bob’s leg, but missed as Bob dodged the blow.

“What you gonna do, farm boy?” Bob taunted, running away through the wooded, rocky terrain.

“I’ll kill you!” Jim shouted, chasing Bob down. Bob turned and laughed, turned and laughed, until the untapped rage within Jim (for had Destiny had its way, Jim would have been trained by the great wizard Merlin instead of befriending the one evil that he was born to hunt down, thereby overcoming that rage which always seeded itself deep inside his mind) finally turned him into a beast.

“Ah shit,” Bob said. “I dropped the trigger stone in this crevice.”

“What?” Jim stood there, searching his friend for the stone, but saw nothing in Bob’s hands. He then looked down the crevice, and saw shining perhaps a hundred feet below, the trigger stone. “Man, that sucks. Oh well.”

Jim and Bob continued their hike through the mountains together.


“Bob, help me!” Jim shouted as he lay, trapped under the dragon’s mighty paws. “It’s so fucking hot!”

“I knew helping this village was a bad idea!” Bob shouted back. He hid behind a large boulder as the dragon roared. “Why you always gotta help people, Jim? Why?!”

“Your friend will die!” the dragon shouted, its deep rumbling bass voice causing the large cave to shake as small bits of rock crashed down onto the ground. “Reveal yourself to me!” The dragon breathed an explosion of fire to emphasize its point.

“That’s kind of beside the point here, Bob,” Jim shouted to his friend. “I just need you to distract him! Just come on out!”

“Your friend wishes to betray you!” the dragon said.

Bob thought about just hiding there behind the rock and letting his friend die. They were hundreds of miles away from Hubriston, their home town, and no one would really ever know. He could just slip away. Drop his sword. And just leave. Just go. Do it, Bob, do it!

“Fuck you, Jim!” Bob shouted as he jumped from behind the boulder, swinging his large sword like a madman with too much wine in his insane systems. “Get back, ye dragon beast!”

Jim hadn’t expected something quite like the rush that Bob performed, but the dragon did. It breathed its fire at Bob, but only for a moment. For when it opened its mouth, Jim had managed to retrieve his sword from under the dragon’s paws and throw it directly into the beast’s weak spot — the thermal gland underneath its tongue.

The dragon roared, reared its neck, straightened its tail, and then collapsed. All was quiet for a moment.

“You…you okay, Bob?” Jim asked. He was still trapped under the dragon, but able to breathe.

“Uh…yeah,” Bob answered. His wide eyes beheld the dragon’s head that had landed merely an inch in front of him, and his hands were still raised above his head, holding his sword. “You?”

“I…I think so.”

“Good.”

“Yep.”

“Those fucking villagers better pay well.”

“It’s not about payment,” Jim said as Bob helped him up.

“Of course, that’s what you always say!”

“Look, maybe we just get a meal out of it.”

“A meal! A meal! I was almost a meal!”

“Bob, all I’m saying is…”

“…want money and…”

“!”


And so Jim and Bob continued on their adventures, threatening each other with death every step of the way.

The Genesis of Megan

“My love, if you are reading this, then I must be dead…” the note began. Megan flipped it over and the other side. “You didn’t know this, and probably still don’t know, but I worked for an intergalactic syndicate that worked against the draconians, who are intent on invading Earth. Go to the backyard and dig three feet down by the hole in the fence. There, you will find the beacon.”

Megan wondered if this was some final prank of Kenny’s, who was more than fond of them in life. How could he be so cruel? she wondered. Nonetheless, she thought of all the business trips he went on, and how many times she would have accused him of cheating had not the love and trust between them been so strong.

A shovel was in the backyard. Megan picked it up and started digging. It took her about an hour to dig a hole that was wide enough to dig three feet down. A metal box the size of a pack of cigarettes lay at the bottom. It turned green when she picked up, and very hot to the touch.

“That bastard,” she muttered. Of course he would do something like this, try to burn me. She shook her head, threw down the shovel and the metal box, and went back inside. Night was coming, and she slept.


“Is this really her?” Blogorg said to Kipitz. The speaker was a seven foot tall purple slug with an ever-shifting number of tentacles. The listener was a human-sized beetle that stood on three legs. “Didn’t Ken say she was pretty?”

“She’s a human, Blo, this is what humans call pretty,” Kipitz replied. “The blonde hair, the blue eyes, the smooth skin. Even the size of the breasts. It’s what they’re into.”

“Fucking weird. Well, whatever. Are you sure she can handle the draconians?”

“Hmmm….” Megan mumbled in her sleep, rolling over and cracking her eyes open. “Kenny, why are you home so–”

“Easy ma’am, we’re not gonna hurt you,” Kipitz said. “You activated the beacon, right? I’m Kip and this is Blo.”

“Oh my god! What the hell is going on here?! What the hell are you?! Get out of my house!” Megan erupted from her her bed and immediately grabbed the standing lamp in the corner of the room. Holding out like a spear, she shook her head this way and that trying to stare down both of the aliens at once. “You’re…you’re….”

“We’re aliens, that’s right,” Blogorg said.

“Aliens…”

“Ken always said he might die, but we didn’t realize how spongy humans are. He left a note in the ring he always wore. It was a message for you, directions on how to activate the beacon.”

“You’re aliens…”

“Well, I mean, to us, you’re the alien,” Kipitiz offered. “But yeah, we have a mission for you, if you’re interested.”

“This is another prank by my husband. You’re probably just his coworkers all dressed up to freak me out.”

“Ugh,” Blogorg said. “Let’s just take her to the ship.”

“You’re the boss,” Kipitz said.


Megan sipped some coffee and stared at the rings of Saturn. All that she had learned in the past three days made her husband’s life make so much sense. He had always been travelling, cursing in languages that sounded more than foreign, and she had seen scars on him that would disappear the next day. The thing that didn’t make sense…why hadn’t he ever told her?

“Humans are small and don’t have any metal parts,” Kipitz said across the table. “Your husband proved his worth a thousand times over, and we though such a man might choose someone similar for his partner.”

“As we’ve seen from your testing, Meg,” Blogorg said, “this is the case with you. It won’t just be one mission, though. We will pay you well, and as you can see, the space trips are fantastic.”

“I don’t want to go back to Earth,” Megan said. The two aliens looked shocked, at least Megan thought it was shock, and she went on. “There’s nothing for me there. We didn’t ever have children, my family all lives in different states, and it was never easy for me to make friends. I want to stay with you all.”

“I mean, that makes it easier for us, so why not?” Kipitz said.

“But you will work for us?” Blorgorg asked. “The draconians will reach Earth soon if we don’t have a human to help us, to sneak onto their ships undetected and sabotage them.”

“Of course,” Megan answered, sipping her coffee. “I’ll help.”

“Great,” Kipitz said.

“Awesome,” Blogrog said.

“I think this is going to be the start of a great relationship.”

Megan sipped her coffee and thought, Of course I’ll help. It gives me a glimpse into this other side of my husband’s life. He’s still with me, I’m sure.

A Recent Murder

I didn’t know the man who talked to me that night, only that he wanted me dead. Perhaps I should start at the beginning.

I was investigating a murder scene on Main Street, which of course the local police couldn’t handle on their own. Sergeant Milton greeted me with a cloudy puff of his cigar. “Eh, detective, how’s the private business going?” His sneer cut daggers into my soul. Just then, the rain started to fall.

I walked inside the house after CSI had left. Crime scenes are always empty at night, just like my soul. It didn’t surprise me that the chalk outline lay in the kitchen. This killer was on a streak. He had struck a trend of killings, blood, gore in the kitchens of the suburbs for the past two years. No one knew what he looked like or when he would strike next. Only MacGregor the Butcher had left worse crime scenes. The only thing I knew was that he needed to be stopped.

Outside, Natalie waited for me. The taxi drove off and I knew the murder wasn’t the only problem I’d be dealing with that night. “Oh,” she uttered, smoking her cigarette like Aphrodite in a campfire. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Of course not,” I said, staring her down with my hands in my pocket. Carelessness is important when dealing with girls like her. Girls that creep up behind you and leave you gasping for air after a two hour choke session. “Murder scenes are the perfect place to find a man, eh? You’ll only find coldness here, doll.”

“I’m warm enough on my own, detective. Come home with me tonight, and you might warm up too.”

How could I refuse? A girl like her, with hips as wide as the Cumberland Gap and as rough too, ready to be ridden ’til exhaustion. “You got it, dame. But don’t expect me overnight.”

She stepped closer, the rain streaming the makeup down her face like some clown that had seen far too many men go down in that clown fire gag where they start a fire and then they jump out onto a tiny trampoline, only one of them misses and cracks his spine and there’s nothing you can do to console his grieving wife save giving her the biggest, wettest kiss you can muster. Well, that’s just what I did with her.

I said I didn’t expect to spend the night and I meant what I said. Still, I somehow found myself waking in her apartment. Maybe it was the wine, or perhaps the lilac in the air, but something trapped me there. It might have been her majestic eyes, eyes that shine in the darkest night.

“I’m going to kill you,” said the man who wanted me dead.

“Oh, yeah?” I replied, sleep lisping my voice like some death-dream. The barrel pointed at my face grew larger with each passing moment. I lit a cigarette. “Why’s that?”

“You killed my father, MacGregor.”

MacGregor, the man who killed nearly forty of Boston’s best citizens. Authors, poets, musicians, and even politicians had perished at his hand.

“And now I will kill you.”

Just before he pulled the trigger, his eyes crossed and he collapsed on the bed. Natalie stood in the doorway, gun in her hand. I took a drag of my cigarette and tried to make sense of the scene.

“Don’t bother, baby,” Natalie said, pushing the pistol back into her lingerie waistline. “He killed my father, and I wanted him dead. He’d only meet me if I brought you home. Thought I had a grudge against you, too.”

“Well, ain’t that something,” I said, smoking a long drag of my cigarette. “I suppose you don’t hold any, then?”

“That’s for me to know,” she said before laying on top of me. I put my cigarette in the ash tray and closed my eyes.

Procrasta-astanation…

The rolling waves of tomorrow’s crest destroy the passing thoughts of future obligations. The ocean drives its angry water further inward, deploying its salty weapons upon the empty shore. A man may think he has an inkling of his purpose, a goal in his mind, and the means to enact all this within his own power, but that envious wonderment is only the foam that the wind drives up the dunes.

The coast is worn from the storm’s thrashing. Erosion cycles its surface so that it shows preserved freshness, unnatural in its constant newness. The tree that was safe for decades from the water is now only a resting place for the birds. Had it been allowed to triumph against destruction, then what wonders may have flourished from its seed!

The gulls dare take flight from that stump just a minute fore the air’s weight crushes their wings. Collective calmness soothes their bellies, waiting for the storm to pass. Patience is a virtue, for it allows us to wait til the moment for action is ripe. It is also a curse, for it forces us to stake our aspirations in the ground.

The hazy dreams of yesterday float tween the water and the sun, afraid to evaporate in the cold air. The day brings heat, and soon, clear skies. Attempts are made to grasp onto one last cloud, but gusts blow the thought away. Another time, another place, another way. Just not today.

 

The Son Also Rises

I’m half convinced that Hemmingway just had a lot of random crap in his stories and hoped some kind of symbolism would come out of it…

_________________________________________________________

Bobby said that Sue wouldn’t love him after that. He was always saying things like that, and only half the time believed it. I knew that Sue would be fine.

We left the store and had some drinks behind the counter at the Select. The drinks were nice. I enjoyed a whiskey. Bobby got the same dark beer he always drank in moods like this.

“It’s just that, I don’t know that she’ll forgive me.”

“Don’t be a fool,” I said.

“Jack, it’s true. Settle down.”

“Settle down? I’ll settle when I fucking feel like it.”

“Oh, come on now Jack. Relax a little. I only wanted to talk about my Sue and see where it will take us.”

I sipped my whiskey and spied the dancing floor.

“That’s it, how about a dance? That lass right there is rather frisky. Or the blonde in the green dress, how’s that for you?”

The barkeep poured me another whiskey.

“Let’s talk about my Sue.”

“What obligation do you have? You’re not married and haven’t promised it.”

“Well, there are certain expectations involved.”

“Your last left before those could be fulfilled.”

“Sue isn’t like Kate, not in the least. Why, if Sue and Kate stood next to each other in my home, I’d have to take Sue.”

“In the same way you’d have to take your current car because you’ve already placed the deposit.”

“Oh, come now, Jake.”

“She’s pregnant, isn’t she?”

Bobby looked at the dance floor, then the bar, and sipped his beer.

I drained my third glass.

“What’s that got to do with anything?”

“I have to send off some e-mails, get back home,” I said, leaving Bobby in the bar. He’d follow me home and knock on my door. I’d probably open it and let him in for a drink or smoke.

Little changes.

 

The Dancing Queen

“It’s a running joke around here that Jocelyn is the party monkey,” Jim said. The wide grin on his wide face reminded me of an ape.

I didn’t understand, so I just chuckled a bit and tried to similarize my facial expression.

“She’s always…’monkeying around,’ if you know what I mean,” he said with his smile that might have been the dreamwork of some drunk animator. “You know, with the boss’ wife.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“Yeah, like she’s….you know…” His laugh was like a pig drowning in the mud that it so desired.

“I thought, you know, the boss is kinda like a” (don’t say religious) “straight edge kinda guy.”

“Oh yeah, but they’re into some wild stuff, man.” Jim’s eyes extended over his face and dripped with hate. “Wild shit that you would never dream of.”

 

+++ (where is the asterisk?)

 

I always thought that dreams were just in our heads. Like if you thought of something real in your head, even though that was real, it’s still just a dream ’cause it’s just in your head. Sometimes, and I think we have to give ourselves some evolutionary credit (for whatever that means), that’s not true. What’s in our head does exist in the outside world, it’s just that you have to prove it. Look at Einstein and how those observers somewhere in Africa (a continent that my education excuses me from the direct knowledge of its geography) saw those stars during the solar eclipse.

You just have to have a good argument. I’ve never been good at arguing.

 

+++

 

“I like to dance and get drunk,” Jocelyn said. Jim chugged a handle of whiskey in the corner of the bar. Everyone else was just drinking or dancing, and Jocelyn was dancing in front of me. Like I knew how to handle that. “You want to dance?”

“I’ve, uh…I guess…dancing is uh, you know…” Dancing is a way to prove your prowess in athleticism to those around you. It’s a fluke of it looking a lot like fighting, but only a few people fight nowadays. “It’s fun.”

“You like to dance.”

The Fallacy of Self – Coupon!

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Fallacy of Self