Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

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Past-iche

March 21, 2007

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hang out with influential writers? Well, fear not, for I have your best interest in mind, and can intuit their day to day conversations. For example, recounting a story of an improperly cooked muffin(I may or may not add to this list):

Ernest Hemingway:

It was early. The day was bright. I hadn’t had my morning coffee yet and I wanted a goddamn muffin. On the way to the store I shot an dog, in the left hind paw. I shot him, and then went to get my muffin. I ordered the muffin, and while I waited, I rifled through a magazine. Britney’s vagina again. Fuck. My muffin came back a little burned, so I shot the storeowner. The muffin tasted alright.

F. Scott Fitzgerald:

I have never been the type of person who would arbitrarily order a muffin. However, there was something special about this day, some collection of mist in the midsummer air, that led to my special sensitivity to the siren’s song of the cooked pastry, so that I knew what it was I had to do.

When I got to the store, the late fall foliage was collecting on the ground like the varied shades on an artists palette. I ordered my muffin concisely-to the point. Being both an honest person and not one to waste words, I told the gentlemanly shopkeep that I wanted my muffin toasted light as a single butterfly descending on a branch, a branch made of money. What I got was not this. My muffin was perceptively cooked beyond its means, so I tossed it into a trash can, where it would languish in a pile of old newspapers and self-regret, before I stepped out into the cold winter air.

Homer:

And I, wearing shirt stained of both jam and mustard,

And being desirous of nutritious pastry, boldly exclaimed

“Summon forth to me a muffin – one perhaps of blueberries

Or cranberries, or the chocolate chips that are the woman’s savor

Cooked lightly, that I might enjoy it, and be refreshed.”

And what I received was not lightly cooked, but rather heavily.

As the charred remains of Britney Spears career

which are splayed across magazine and television alike

reminding us, as Icarus did, that hubris is folly

and that one must always avail themself of both toga and undergarment

continue to smolder ruinously, so was my muffin improperly cooked

black as the heart of stern Poseiden.

Faulkner:

My mother is a muffin.

Shakespeare:

Shagstaff: Fetch me a muffin, shopkeep.

Shopkeeper: Young men shouldn’t have their muffin fetched for them, in deceit of their vigor.

Shagstaff: What sayest thou knave? I need a muffin, toasted lightly

Shopkeeper(preparing muffin): Ah, the conceit of youth! To think that any muffin require little more than a light toasting. You must want your muffin prepared well.

Shagstaff: On my mother’s head, I will cause you harm if my will is not so.

Shopkeeper(handing muffin): I hope she is still married, for her maidenhead was lost long ago, in a forgotten alley. And if you are so prodigal with the skulls of your parents, you shall have your will soon enough.

Shagstaff: This muffin is burnt.

Shopkeeper: Talkest thou of Britney Spears?

Ralph Ellision:

I left my house today, a house whose only witness is the 1,369 Christmas lights I forgot to take down. I was in search of a muffin. Making my way to the store, I tripped over a copy of The Souls of Black Folks, while Mims’ new song “This Is Why I’m Hot” blared from a car window. My car was also being ticketed by a white traffic cop, so I threw a copy of Richard Wright’s Black Boy at him. Not metaphorically. Literally.

Upon arriving at the store, I ordered my muffin as dark as possible without being burnt. When I finally received it, it was too light, but I didn’t complain. Each bite choked me a little. Because of the lightness.

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Probably Not For Kids

March 20, 2007

This is the beginning to a story I just wrote. If you’re lucky, and nice, I might even give you the epic conclusion.

Adrienne was nervous. She was nervous about what she was wearing, she was nervous about what she was doing, she was even nervous about who she was anymore. She brought herself to look in the mirror.

She breathed a sigh of relief. It wasn’t her. No, this person in the mirror –the one with the jet-black wig, the wine-colored lipstick and the skin-tight and thigh high skirt – couldn’t have been her. Which was good, because she would never do any of the things that this girl was going to do. Adrienne was completely and utterly heterosexual, and had never so much as thought about even a drunken makeout session with a close friend. The girl in the mirror was different.

This girl needed a name, something that forced a woman to the implications of their own tongue. Something playful, yet sultry. A name that had to be said breathlessly. For the life of her, Adrienne couldn’t remember where she had heard this name, but as soon as it came to her mind, it stuck. Dazdemona.

Dazdemona was in love with her own name. Her friends often jokingly accused her of narcissism, but if they had any idea of the little jolt she got from saying her own name they would never let her hear the end of it. How could she not love it? It required a whole-hearted commitment from the lips, it was a mélange of cadences, and even managed to sneak in a discreet moan. She said her name once to herself in the mirror before snatching up her keys and her phone, stuffing them into her purse, and sauntering out of the door. It was going to be a good night.

Another good night, she mentally corrected herself. All of her nights were good, and none of them ended up alone. Sometimes it was guys, most of the times it was girls, and if she felt really playful it was both. Tonight, however, was a ladies night. She was going to find a woman and please her thoroughly that the name Dazdemona would make her have to cross her legs. She hailed a taxi with a flick of a wrist trained with years of experience, opened the door, and settled into the back comfortably. She leaned towards the partition and gave her destination in a throaty half-whisper “2nd and A, please. And hurry.”

Hurry the driver did. They were at the corner in less than ten minutes. Dazdemona slipped several bills into the drivers hand, making sure to trace her thumb on the inside of his palm for good measure. He didn’t count the money.

The entrance to the club was non-descript, and a tourist would never have found it. Kat’s Cradle wasn’t for tourists, though. It was for people who knew what they were doing, and anyone could tell from the way Dazdemona confidently slipped through the spray-painted gray doors that she fit that description. Everywhere she went, even places she had never been before, she was a regular.

It was crowded, and sweaty. Not just the people, the entire atmosphere was covered with a thin mist, as though the room itself had just come from a romp. She loved it. She squeezed her way through the throngs of undulating women and to the bar. Before she could say anything, she felt two warm hands slip around her waist, and hug her from behind, a hug that smelled like vanilla. It was Kat herself, the owner and proprietor.

“Anything you want is on the house tonight” Kat murmured in her ear. “I owe you one.”

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Stream of Vignette

February 27, 2007

I’m trying this on the fly, so it probably will be somewhat meandering…

Vincent looked up from his desk to where Myra was still talking about her ex-husband and the beatings he used to give her. He resettled his glasses on his nose in a gesture that always gave off the impression that he was closely listening to whatever it was his patients were blathering on about and drifted off once again into daydream.

Drifted was perhaps the wrong word. He pursued the opportunity to daydream aggressively but lightly, the same way a little boy might chase a butterfly that he wanted to catch, but was at particular pains not to harm. This daydream was about his father. They were all about his father.

His father was a hardnosed man. He was also hard-bodied, hardheaded, hardworking and a touch hard of hearing. The last one was the most dangerous. The old man was particularly touchy at any implication that he was a less than perfect physical specimen and refused to acknowledge any mistake in hearing, instead supplying whatever his subconscious thought his hapless interlocuter might have said. Often, his subconscious supplied vicious insults in place of innocuous chatter, which gave him a chance to indulge his most favorite hobby.

Above all, he was a man who enjoyed beating his children. He subscribed to the belief that one should “spare the rod, and enjoy the hell out of it”. He had a few special tools for the task: A long, curved, beautifully crafted oak cane he had taken from a blind man who asked him for change, a length of piano wire that he had wrapped in duct tape until it was the thickness of his thumb, and his personal favorite, a pair of brass knuckles that he only consented to use on his children when he was very unhappy.

Or when he was exceptionally happy.

That was made him different. Other parents beat their kids when their kids brought home bad report cards, or were noisy, or just too numerous; Vincent’s father beat his children completely on a whim. Vincent was quite as likely to receive a beating for bringing home a report card full of A’s as for getting arrested for arson. It had made him a slightly jumpy little boy, a habit he had only very recently grown out of.

Vincent begrudgingly made eye contact with Myra, where her eyes were red and puffy as she recounted yet another tale of spousal abuse. They all ran into each other in a way that made Vincent’s job both inane and laughably easy. She seemed reassured by this meaningless gesture and continued talking uninterrupted.

When Vincent was 9, his father had beaten him so hard and with such vigor that he had sprained his wrist. At first this seemed like a rare bit of good luck – for a week his father had been forced to use his off-hand, which took a lot of sting out of the blows. But his father was a quick study, especially when it came to his hobby, and soon was using both hands nearly equally well. Once in a while, he would even show off and beat two of his children at once, raining blows down in a cacophonous pain that as close as anything approximated a soundtrack to his young life.

An alarm sounded. The session was up. He got up to shake Myra’s hand and escort her out the door, careful not to touch her in a way that might be construed as unprofessionally affectionate. He settled back into his chair.

For the life of him, he couldn’t figure out why his ex-wife would use him as a therapist.