Friday, February 28, 2014

789. Tests of Manhood

Two men sit across from one another at a table.
There is a faded plate in front of each of them.
On each plate is a giant raw onion.
These two men are going to eat raw onion until one of them capitulates.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

788. Marginal improvements

Each year, there is a specific allotment of superpowers to be doled out.
The nature and potency of these powers are decided by lottery.
Marian has drawn the last number.
Her power is a profound skill at alphabetizing LaserDiscs.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

787. Fill

His left hit the snare; his right the cymbal.
Both feet walloped a bass drum.
He sat at the lights waiting for a green - lost in a song in his head.
Music'll do that to you.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

786. Hammettville

Everyone spoke in clipped tones - threats and accusations.
On streets, in the shops, they eyed one another suspiciously.
Shootouts were not uncommon.
The man who tended to the "Welcome to Hammettville" sign was constantly adjusting the population numbers.

Monday, February 24, 2014

785. Elements of style

As the stairs rose, the discarded articles of women's clothing grew more risque.
His first thoughts were of lust - a thousand letters to adult magazines began this way.
Then, an element of panic set in - so did plenty of horror movies.
He paused briefly at the bottom of the stairs, weighing lust and panic.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

784. Evidence

The streets were wet with evidence.
The snow banks sagged like old men.
The wind carried the insinuation of change.
Spring was coming.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

783. Modern Mysticism

Thomas straightened the crooked picture.
It went immediately askew, so he fixed it again.
Things went on this way for the entirety of a rainy Saturday afternoon.
This new Invisible Man was a dick.

Friday, February 21, 2014

782. Grant us the wisdom

She knelt alone in the family chapel.
The rough wooden pews felt familiar against her knees.
She prayed to the Virgin Mother for the same thing as always.
"Holy Mary, Mother of God," she whispered, "grant us that we might not get that which we want most."

Thursday, February 20, 2014

781. The Sandwich Artist

He left a trail of sweet honey mustard in his wake.
Each house he burgled was relieved only of the building blocks of a single sandwich.
The Sandwich Artist, they called him - a master thief.
When they caught him, his face was covered in mayonnaise.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

780. The Summer Kitchen

We rented the cottage every year for six years - or seven.
It had a tiny kitchen that faced the lake and the afternoon sun.
An old radio was permanently propped above the sink so it could find the oldies station.
I wonder if that tiny kitchen is still there, facing the lake and the afternoon sun.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

779. The blues

Little by little, her eyesight changed until she saw everything in shades of blue.
The further her condition progressed, the more she could feel the sorrows of people around her.
One day, she decided to help a little girl who was sobbing so hard she'd gone almost cobalt.
A tiny pixel of yellow appeared at the bottom edge of her vision.

Monday, February 17, 2014

778. Windsor

There were a dozen or so ties hanging on the closet door - all tied.
They all had a slightly beaten down look, like they'd been that way for a long time.
He kept them tied on purpose.
Each of them was a memory and he wasn't prepared to give them up.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

777. In Alligators

The accident on the river had been horrific.
It was a tragic end to her safari.
She should have shuffled off this mortal coil by now.
But, she could feel her parts calling from the bellies of a dozen beasts.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

776. Mates and orphans

It looked like a tiny aardvark.
They became quite attached to having the odd little beast around.
All it cost them was an occasional wool sock which it found delicious.
The tiny aardvark thing would wander here and there, eating socks and leaving tiny balls of yarn in its wake.

Friday, February 14, 2014

775. Two for one

Two identical men walked into a room.
Only one of them exited.
Two more followed them and then two more and two more and two more.
The clones were coming home.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

774. The leading edge of the universe

The four of them sat in the dark.
The only light came from the rhythmic blinking of their instruments.
Outside the ship was only spectacular, inky nothingness.
If their calculations were correct, the expanding universe would catch up to them on Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

773. The Pitch

Muriel's face was flushed with the lovechild of elation and terror.
She had intended to ask for something simple, a few thousand dollars.
But, in the moment, she'd been struck by inspiration and possessed of a silver tongue.
They said yes.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

772. Timeshare

Each morning, his body felt like it had been in a boxing match.
That made little sense, given his most sedentary life.
No treatment - medical, radical, or traditional - helped.
His body was the nighttime vessel of a ghostly crime fighter.

Monday, February 10, 2014

771. Something about pitchforks

The last words he heard were something about pitchforks.
Then, it was all black.
From what he was told, the doctors did the best they could.
The nubs of metal looked like a crown of thorns.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

770. Have you come to raise the dead?

Have you come here to raise the dead?
Will you stir up the old echoes and listen to what they say?
There's nothing for you here.
It's just the long shadows of days gone by.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

769. Where do you keep the magic?

"Is this where you keep the magic?" asked the little boy.
He stood in the shop, twisting as he looked at the curiosities.
Surely, this was a place of magic.
"Here, my boy," answered the old man, pulling a tiny chest from underneath the counter.

Friday, February 7, 2014

768. Hostages

The farm was fifty miles from town.
That was no distance to walk at night.
He drove his spade into the ground for the hundredth time.
She'd buried his keys somewhere on the grounds.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

767. The man who takes the stairs

Behind them, stairs were disappearing with a soft 'pop'.
They raced up, three at a time.
Their only hope was to reach the top.
The man there would be waiting for them.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

766. Why don't we have two belly buttons?

Why don't we have two belly buttons?
Would a dinosaur eat pizza?
How fast would you have to flap your arms to fly?
And they drove like that, the man and the boy, for hours.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

765. Because sometimes...

The street was empty.
Then it wasn't.
People were dancing in unison with a wild and joyful abandon.
Sometimes the universe smiles at us.

Monday, February 3, 2014

764. In space

It was his second day on the alien spacecraft.
Two days ago, he'd jumped at the chance for an adventure in the far reaches of the galaxy.
Now, he needed to - Ahem - use the bathroom.
The conversation that followed - detailing the mechanics of producing energy in Earthlings - left the ship's pilot scratching its head with three insectoid hands.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

763. Young Americans

The August evening was flatter than piss on a plate.
A boy dragged a length of extension cord behind him as he climbed the fire escape.
Trailing him was a girl carrying two folding lawn chairs. 
The two of them spent the night on the roof listening to Bowie songs bounce off the sky.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

762. Mindy has stormy eyes

She stood on the shore, waves lapping at her feet.
Her hands reached out to the wide expanse of the Pacific.
She could feel the water deep down in her bones.
The waves grew more violent.