Category Archives: Fictishy

Other people’s characters

I recently drew a comic strip that featured characters that are not mine. Neither are these two:

hungry for adventure

Who are they? That’s up to you to determine, dear readers! First correct guess wins an advance copy of my new novel A Bit of the Shist due to drop in Fall 2006 from Arbitrary Building Press. It’s a saucy, sweet coming-of-age drama set in Victorian London.

Pre-order today! Critics are still praising my last novel, Tutti:

“Yes! There are over fifty thousand words in this book!”
—Richard Oppenheimer, National Novel-Writing Monthly

“If you wrote an ending to this book, I would read it!”
—Vince Vincent, Federated Book Inspection Weekly

“[The dialogue and characters are not] awful!”
—Lee German Suchy, Book Magazine Journal Report

The day she turned thirty

The day she turned thirty was the day summer became fall. In an hour’s time sweat dribbles became snot bubbles and she shivered as she sat on the concrete bench, unprepared for the transition. She ignored her eight-dollar sandwich and stared out across the murky green river.

She was not expecting him to call. He did not call. He could have called, emailed, something. It would have been a nice gesture. Contacting someone on their birthday is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. It entails neither extended conversation nor real-time interaction. But even the shallowest of messages would be outside her expectation parameters and uncharacteristic of what she assumed was his communication strategy. So she was not expecting him to call. And he didn’t.

The moisture evaporated from her eyes as she stared unblinkingly at the raised bridge two blocks away and contemplated vertical avenues. Folds in space. Her life was a piece of paper that had been folded into thirds, each third its own unique adventure. In ten years she will refold the page and the columns will be smaller. Time would be moving faster now, and individual experiences would become less important in relation to the totality of her life.

She considered a diagram.

It began to rain. Her eyes were dry and she was disappointed and the afternoon was gloomy and gray. She stood up and threw away two dollars of her sandwich. She tucked her cold hands under her arms and wandered to the subway station, bewildered by her disappointment that something she did not expect to happen did not and would not happen. It was an unreasonable, indefensible feeling. She boarded the train feeling guilty, foolish, and not at all possessing of the emotional maturity inherent in being thirty.

Later, she ate pizza and watched her favorite television show.

Scalpels count

“What a world.”

Rose lifted her head from the desk. Mrs. Callaghan was standing at the opposite end of the classroom, perched on her toes just a little bit, peering out the window.

“What’s going on out there?”

Mrs. Callaghan waved her hand dismissively. “Nothing in particular, dear. I was just watching the children line up for the buses.”

“Are they misbehaving?” asked Rose. “Knife fights?”

“Ha ha, no,” Mrs. Callaghan smiled. “I didn’t see any knife fights, anyway. I guess that doesn’t mean they’re not happening.”

Rose sat up. “Have you ever heard about any?”

“Well,” replied Mrs. Callaghan, rolling her eyes thoughtfully. “Certainly there have been a fair share of pocketknives confiscated from kids, but thankfully I’ve never heard of any out-and-out duels.”

“I think they’re technically called ‘rumbles’,” Rose noted.

“Now, wait a minute, I guess I remember one story. This was something that happened before I started working here, so, back in the Stone Age then.”

“Were people hurling stones and sharpened sticks?”

Mrs. Callaghan ignored Rose and continued. “So the story goes, there was a kid, name of Cain.”

“Cain as in Cain and Abel?”

“Yes. That was his last name. I don’t remember his first name. Rob Cain, Jeff Cain, David Cain, one of those maybe.”

“So what did this kid do?”

Mrs. Callaghan looked out the window again. “I guess he was a thuggish type, a bully, liked to hit kids and take their money. Came from a low-income family, his older brother had trouble with the law, you know the type.”

“Seems almost quaint,” Rose smiled.

“Oh yes,” Mrs. Callaghan nodded, “back in those days you could pretty much tell who the problem kids would be just by looking at them. Nowadays, it’s like everyone’s got the potential to, to–”

“To be a bastard.”

“Well, yes. Anyway, Cain apparently had a long-standing antagonistic relationship with another student whose name I can’t remember.”


“That would be convenient, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s not at all appropriate as an analogy.” Mrs. Callaghan cleared her throat. “Cain had been picking on this other boy for I guess a number of years, and the boy couldn’t take it anymore.”

Rose listened inquisitively. “So he brought in a knife and stabbed him?”

Mrs. Callaghan sighed. “It was a little more… complicated than that. The two boys had a class together with Mr. Bergen. Have you met him? He still teaches here.”

“Older guy? Math teacher?”

“Biology. Vietnam veteran, and very strict as teachers go.”

“I met him briefly in the lounge. He did seem like kind of a hardass.”

“He’s softened up over the years. Cain and the other boy were in his class together, and there was a sudden altercation one afternoon. Right there in the classroom.”

“Why? What set it off?”

“There were notes being passed around. They revealed what happened… Cain had a little romance going, a crush… but the other boy had apparently, very quietly, stolen her away. Not only that, but he convinced her to help him carry out an elaborate prank which resulted in… well…”

“What is it?”

Mrs. Callaghan blushed and lowered her voice considerably. “It ended with Cain inadvertently performing a sex act on a homeless man in front of a room full of people.”

“Uh. Holy shit.”

“Anyway. Cain didn’t come back to school for two weeks after that, and the day he came back was when the altercation happened. Bergen told them to put their books away and get out their pencils for a quiz. Cain instead pulled out a knife, stood up, walked to the other boy, and slashed him across the face.”

“Oh my god!”

“And here’s where your knife fight comes in. Bergen kind of snapped, I guess, and grabbed a scalpel from his counter top, to face Cain in battle. But Cain was too fast for him and sliced his belly open.”

Rose squirmed. “What happened to him?”

“Story’s not over yet. Bergen had a student teacher who was a little late that day. The student teacher walked into the classroom and saw Bergen clutching his belly, this other kid on the floor, Cain holding the knife, and blood everywhere. He assumed the worst and tackled Cain. He was a big guy, hefty, and during the tackle Cain’s head got bashed in on the countertop. He was killed instantly.”

“The other kid – did he die?”

“I guess he was blinded. The student teacher was so distraught over what happened that he checked himself into a mental institution.”

“And Bergen lived through it.”

“Bergen claimed that he suffered through worse in the war, and I’m not going to doubt him, but he required some major surgery and was very close to death.”

Rose looked out the window and watched the last bus pulling away.

“Mrs. Callaghan? I don’t think I want to be a teacher anymore.”

“I’ve uttered those words every fucking day since I became one.” Mrs. Callaghan turned to Rose with a stern look on her face. “And yet, here I am. What a world.”

“Mrs. Callaghan?”

“What is it, dear?”

“Why didn’t you remember this right away, when I asked you about knife fights earlier?”

“Oh, I remembered it. I just wasn’t sure if scalpels counted.”

What it might be like

“You’re dreamy.”

“I’m married.”

“I am aware of your marital status.”

“Then what do you hope to gain?”


“By telling me that I’m dreamy.”

“I’m not sure that I hope to gain anything. I look at you, and you are dreamy, and as I apparently am, in this moment, unfettered by inhibition or self-censorship, I feel compelled to express to you that I find you dreamy.”

“What are you trying to express to me? That I’m dreamy or that you find me dreamy?”

“What do you mean?”

“At first you simply stated I was dreamy. A matter of opinion, sure. But you were only talking about me. Then you said that you find me dreamy, explicitly casting yourself as a finder of dreaminess. In the first case you are simply paying me a compliment, assuming that I find the term ‘dreamy’ to be a compliment. In the second case you are drawing special attention to the fact that it is you who finds me dreamy, implying that finding me dreamy is something that makes you special and worthy of notice.”

“Is there really a difference? Either way you’re dreamy.”

“Yes, but in the second case you are overtly trying to get my attention. Which is bad, because I’m married.”

“Allow me to restate in order to clarify. You are dreamy. I find you to be dreamy. As someone who finds you dreamy I feel like I have an insider’s knowledge of the hip new trends in dreaminess. Others should find you dreamy also, and if they do not it means they do not understand what it means to be dreamy. Certainly there are not many I would consider to be dreamier.”

“Oh. Well, that’s all you had to say.”

Complicated feelings

“I’m sad,” I said.

“Why are you sad?” she asked.

“I’m sad because I think I’m sad,” I said.

“Why do you think you’re sad?” she asked.

“I think I’m sad because I feel sad,” I said.

“Why do you feel sad?” she asked.

“I feel sad because I always feel sad. I’m sad that I think I’m sad all the time,” I said.

(Thirty seconds of silence.)

“Come to think of it, I may not even be sad. It’s possible that I just think I’m sad. This sadness that I feel could be completely fake. That I may have been suckered in by counterfeit sadness saddens me,” I said.

“Why do you think it might be fake?” she asked.

“I know how it feels to feel sad. The feeling of feeling sad is something that I’m very aware of when I’m feeling it. But since this feeling is familiar to me, it is possible for me to feel the feeling without feeling the sadness. And I know I’m feeling it. I can feel myself feeling it,” I said.

“Just because you know you’re feeling something, and can feel yourself feeling a certain way, it doesn’t mean you’re not really feeling it. It’s a real feeling. Feeling is independent of truth. If you feel sad, you are sad, regardless of whether you are actually sad. Feeling is also independent of metafeeling. If you feel sad, you are sad, regardless of whether you feel yourself feeling sad,” she said.

(Thirty seconds of silence.)

“So. Are you sad?” she asked.

“Yes?” I said.

Text-based adventure

You are watching television. It is a game show or something. It doesn’t matter.

Your doorbell rings. You become aware that you are not wearing pants.


If only it were that simple. Your pants are nowhere to be seen.

Your doorbell rings again. It sounds somewhat agitated. It’s not, though. It’s a doorbell. It has no emotions.


Don’t you want to see who it is before you go presenting your tattered, ill-fitting briefs to them?


It is a beautiful sunny day.

A man in a dark suit is standing on your doorstep looking impatient. You do not recognize him.


Your living room is sparsely decorated, as are you. Your television blares loudly in the corner.

From here you can go to: Kitchen, Bathroom


You enter your bathroom. It smells vaguely of farts. A bathrobe hangs on a hook on the back of the door.


You slip into your dirty (but not as dirty as your underwear) terrycloth robe. You feel adequately dressed.

The doorbell rings again, twice in a row.


You return to your living room. It is as you left it.


You open the door.

The man in the dark suit nods his head in greeting. “Hello, my name is Mr. Buttons. I’ve been hired to kill you.” He pulls a pistol out of his jacket.


Sorry, I don’t understand that command.


Sorry, I don’t understand that command.


Sorry, I don’t understand that command.

Mr. Buttons pulls a cartridge out of another pocket and slides it into the pistol.


Sorry, I don’t understand that command.


Sorry, I don’t understand that command.

Mr. Buttons holds the pistol against your forehead.


Sorry, I don’t understand that command.


Would you like to save your game?


Your game has been saved.

Thank you for playing.

Spatial relationships

“Stop looking at me. I can’t work when you’re looking at me.”

“How do you know I’m looking at you?”


“I said, how do you know I’m looking at you?”

“Because I looked up and saw you looking at me.”

“As I suspected. Could it not be the case, then, that your inability to do work is related not to my looking at you, but rather you looking at me?”

“Stop looking at me.”

A worthwhile pursuit

“I think it’s a worthwhile pursuit,” says Jennifer, leaning against the refrigerator. “I just wish more people cared about it.”

“You’re so right,” agrees the girl whose name Rich does not know. He nods his head in general agreement, but he has lost track of what they are talking about. They continue their conversation, somehow managing to understand each other despite the cacophony of the party, which is full of other people having other conversations and presumably also performing the remarkable cognitive feat of separating signal from less-relevant signal.

Rich is incapable of this, and so he stands in the kitchen staring in the general direction of the two girls as they continue to chat. He does not know why he came to the party. Well, he does know. But it was not a rational reason and there’s no reason for him to think about it.

Rich does not do well at parties. He turns his body ninety degrees and finds himself in another conversation altogether with two co-workers whom he barely knows. From the words he can pick out, it seems like they are talking about some kind of athletic equipment. Rich has nothing to add to this topic, but at least he knows what it is.

Boredom sets in quickly, though. He chances another ninety-degree turn and finds himself opposite the host of the party and several others preparing and enjoying shots of tequila. Rich looks down at his beer cup, which has been empty for at least the last half hour because the keg, out on the porch and surrounded by throngs of people, is effectively inaccessible. He considers doing a shot but decides against it. Sometimes his people drink to loosen up a little bit, but Rich embarrasses himself when he gets drunk at parties. He recalls the mooning episode from July 2002. This is the kind of crowd that would be surprised and delighted by such a thing, but it would be coming out of nowhere. The folks at Rich’s workplace don’t know him in that context and he doesn’t want to subject them to that kind of contrast.

He rouses himself from self-reflection to find that the kitchen has emptied out somewhat. He has come to understand that parties simply flow naturally from room to room and that he should not associate this migration with his own presence in either location. Jennifer and the other girl are still deeply engrossed in their conversation, their body language making them seem as comfortable together as best friends, although Rich is pretty sure they just met. Is it alcohol or natural chemistry? Probably both. Jennifer has knocked back several beers over the course of the evening, and Other Girl has been chugging red wine from a jelly jar. They don’t seem drunk, though, just friendly and talkative. Rich has no idea what that is like.

He approaches them, and Jennifer acknowledges him with a warm smile, the type of smile you can see in the eyes as well as in the mouth. It’s a type of smile Jennifer is particularly good at. Rich’s thoughts begin to creep back into irrational territory and he struggles to remain present in the moment. The girls are now talking about neighborhoods, which is a conversation Rich can relate to: he does live in a neighborhood, after all. In fact, he has lived in several.

Other Girl is wearing a top that goes off the shoulder. Her round, shiny brown shoulder emerges from the fabric and captures Rich’s attention. He would very much like to approach that shoulder and bite it as he would an apple. Not a complete bite, just the beginning of a bite where one’s teeth slowly press into the skin. Rich believes that if this partial bite is delivered skillfully, it could be a very pleasant experience for all parties involved.

He realizes what he is thinking about, and starts to feel guilty. Then he feels indignant about having felt guilty, and then he starts to feel bewilderment at his unpredictable non-stop thought parade. Is it the shoulder, or is it the girl? Is it a shoulder thing?

“So what do you do?” asks Other Girl. Rich slowly comes to realize that the question is directed at him.

“Well, I–”

“He works in my department. We work together sometimes. This guy,” Jennifer yells, “is awesome!”

“Yeah?” Other Girl asks.

“Totally!” replies Jennifer, giving Rich a smack on the behind. Rich’s brain short-circuits briefly as it catches up to the action and realizes it no longer needs to supply an answer to Other Girl’s question.

“It is true,” Rich responds in a confessional tone. “I am awesome.”

Write up #5

The following is an excerpt from my unpublished/unfinished novel TUTTI, Chapter 4: “Bastard Mounds”.

?Hey, Zit-Tits.?

Mary Beth stopped dead in her tracks and watched the tan, blond jock who made that comment as he walked past her.

?How?s it going, Zit-Tits?? said his friend, following closely behind.

?Word up, Tit-Zits!? yelled a third.

Embee stood with her mouth agape. Her face (as much of it that was not obscured by red splotches) turned ghostly pale.

?You mother fuckers!? Nicky turned and yelled after them. ?You come back and say that, you dumb ass fucking jocks!?

Turning to Mary Beth, she put her arm across her shoulder and said, ?Forget them.?

But Embee couldn?t. ?Zit-Tits?, or alternately ?Tit-Zits?, was a nickname that Mary Beth had unwillingly acquired during the previous semester. In a rare fit of enthusiasm for her surroundings she had joined the drill team ? in effect a group of forty girls who wore sparkly outfits and did dance routines during halftime at the football games. It wasn?t nearly as cool as being on the cheerleading squad, but it seemed like it might be fun; and better yet, it was open to anyone. The end result was that you had a squad with thirty or so semi-popular girls, with a few errant fat girls with higher self-confidence than usual thrown in, and a selection of funny-looking misfits like Mary Beth. And she did have a lot of fun, for the first few weeks of the semester, at least; even though Nicky teased her mercilessly, she felt she had made a few friends and that her self-esteem had improved by leaps and bounds.

And so it was that she found herself in the girls? locker room on an evening one Friday in October, changing into her sparkly outfit in preparation for that night?s halftime extravaganza. Although many of the girls had absolutely no problem hanging out in the locker room half-naked in front of each other, Mary Beth was far too timid to take off her clothes in front of so many people. Even their coach was in there, a middle-aged lady, twenty nine or something, and she wasn?t changing but she was trying to get everyone pumped up for their big performance.

Mary Beth opted to change inside a toilet stall. Unfortunately, she wasn?t the only timid one, because all the stalls in the girls? locker room were already occupied. But she noticed that the locker room was much bigger than she had originally thought, so she continued turning corners and walking past banks of lockers until she?d found a spot that was suitably isolated from everyone, a room that had concrete walls and was recessed somewhat into the ground. She took off her pants and draped them over a nearby chair. She unbuttoned her shirt, took it off, and draped it over the chair as well. Standing in her underwear, she contemplated a time, at some point in the future, when she would actually start wearing a bra. She was not optimistic, for, as her mother told her, ?Large doesn?t run in this family.?
The room itself was full of all sorts of old, unused chairs and tables, and contained dozens upon dozens of cardboard boxes, their contents an utter mystery. Just then, she saw it: a tiny, emaciated little kitty was poking its way behind the boxes. At least, it looked like a kitty. Mary Beth forgot herself and approached it.

?Kitty?? she intoned. ?Kitty kitty??

The cat looked up, met her gaze, and dashed into the maze of boxes. Mary Beth followed quickly behind it.

?Here, kitty. Come here, kitty.? She was sure she could somehow trap it.

Suddenly, loud voices began to pour into the room. Mary Beth stood behind the boxes, in shock, and the noise increased as people filed into the room from what seemed like three directions at once. The cat quickly scampered off.

Some of the voices were close enough to her that she could pick them out.

?All right, everybody, crouch down.?

?Turn on the radio!?

?Do you think they?ll cancel the game??

Mary Beth huddled in the corner in a complete panic. She began to desperately claw at her forehead, trying to think of a way to arrange things that would retroactively eliminate her current situation.

A particularly strong, distinctive male voice boomed above the others. ?Okay, everyone, what we need to do is take attendance, make sure everyone is accounted for. We don?t want anybody outside in that.?

?Is the game cancelled, Coach?? asked a slightly-higher pitched male voice.

?Yes,? the strong voice continued, ?the other team has notified us that there?s no way in hell ? excuse me, heck ? that they are driving their bus here through the tornado.?

?A tornado?? muttered Mary Beth to herself. She looked around. Well, the room did seem like an adequate tornado shelter. She huddled even more tightly and attempted not to cry.

Within moments, three different people were calling attendance ? two male voices, one female. Mary Beth knew the female voice was her coach; she figured the other two were probably an assistant football coach and the director of the marching band. Her eyes glazed over when she realized how many people were there with her in the room, which was not all that large.

Eventually, her coach came to her name. Embee did not answer. She sat, tight-lipped, hoping no one would see her, no one would find her.

?Mary Beth?? the coach repeated. ?Anyone seen Mary Beth??

?I saw her earlier,? someone said. ?I know she?s here.?

?Isn?t that what she was wearing earlier?? someone else said, obviously pointing to the clothes she had left draped over the chair. Mary Beth hoped and prayed that no one spotted her empty drill team uniform, or things would be very highly suspicious indeed. Fortunately, for the moment, it was being unwittingly sat upon by a clueless sousaphone player, who, while not as big as, say, Joel, was large enough and encumbered enough in his own uniform that he did not notice the terrible mess of sequins and taffeta underneath his bottom.

?Margaret, run back through the locker room, see if you can find her.?

?All right,? said someone who was apparently Margaret.
The coach continued on with her list. Everyone was accounted for except Mary Beth, who continued to huddle and began to squeeze her lips together so tightly that they began to crack and bleed underneath her teeth.

?She?s not in there, I looked everywhere,? Margaret stated, out of breath as she ran back down into the room.

?Well, shit,? said her coach. ?Crap. Excuse me, crap.?

Two football players volunteered to conduct a wider search. ?What does she look like, again?? one of them asked.

?Um,? said the coach. ?Margaret??

?She?s got straight, light brown hair, she?s really skinny, with kind of a complexion problem.? Mary Beth frowned as she heard a few giggles from the crowd. She also wondered who the heck Margaret was and why she knew so much about what Mary Beth looked like. ?And she should be in one of our uniforms, so you can?t miss her,? Margaret continued.

?All right, we?ll be right back,? said the other player.

Then again, thought Mary Beth, it was kind of nice to have people looking for her like that, especially football players, who would sooner spit on her than speak to her on any normal day. As she began to consider the possibility of being rescued from a storm by a handsome football player, the cat made a sudden, unexpected reappearance, darting out between two of the boxes, this time in pursuit of a tiny grey dot which moved quickly across the floor.

Mary Beth screamed.

? ? ?

She couldn?t remember exactly how many people came rushing back to check on her after she screamed; she just remembered that there were hordes, and that all of them were back there before she had a chance to attempt to conceal her naked upper torso; so her memory was that hordes of people got a free show. Which would not have been quite as traumatizing, had some faceless entity a couple rows in not yelled, ?She?s got zit-tits!? She wasn?t sure whether he meant that her tits were the size of zits, which was an exaggeration but not inaccurate, or that her tits were covered in zits, which was unfortunately right on the money; and the rest of the crowd seemed to be initially confused about this at first, but promptly forgot about their confusion when a chant began ? because everyone loves a good rhyme.


Daily Hey Magic Number: 7

Write up #4

The following is an excerpt from my unpublished/unfinished novel TUTTI, Chapter 4: “Bastard Mounds”.

Mary Beth stood in front of the bathroom mirror, entranced by the new day?s pimples. Some, like that nasty whitehead on her forehead that appeared only the day before, had disappeared all together, leaving no trace of their existence. Others, like the cluster on her right cheek, had been present for weeks and showed no signs of packing up and leaving any time soon. She felt her chin, throat, and nose, searching for ?mounds?, those zits that formed deep beneath the skin and became very large and painful and proved notoriously impossible to squeeze, but were almost impossible to detect before they became painful. Mounds were the bane of Mary Beth?s existence. Ordinary pimples could be squeezed or simply ignored, and they were not painful when left alone, and squeezing them didn?t hurt either ? well, it hurt, but in a good kind of way. And while she took some solace in the fact that regular pimples tend to pop on their own, opening up the possibility of an unsightly trickle of blood and pus coming down one?s forehead, while mounds were largely invisible until they were at their apex, she still wished that she only had normal pimples instead of the addition of the incessant infestation of mounds. She singularly placed blame on the mounds for the drop in her grades and social standing at school, her inability to get any boys to like her, her constant mood changes, her inability to get along with her parents, and basically anything else that was problematic in her young life.

She felt a bastard mound beginning to form beneath her right temple. A few days, she thought, and that?ll be a lump the size of a tennis ball. Of course, since it was deep below her skin, there was not much she could do about it, except wash her face, use the medicated pads, and pray. That was another problem with mounds. God seemed to reject any and all prayers having to do with them.

Mary Beth forgot about the mounds for a moment, and started looking for patterns in her new surface acne. Ever since she had found what appeared to be, in her opinion, a pentagram, she had been interested in exploring and seeing if other patterns may have emerged. There were two triangles on her face ? a large one on her cheek, and a small one on her chin. There was a straight line running somewhat diagonally up her forehead with a smaller line running parallel beneath it. She turned away from the mirror and looked back over her left shoulder to find a circle with a dot inside. A wheel? A donut?

She looked again at her face. Her eyes fixated on the tip of her nose in the mirror and her focus blurred. Suddenly, her entire face was revealed to her in breathtaking close-up. Her eyes became time-lapse cameras and she saw the various tectonic plates that made up the surface of her face drift and collide and separate and collide again over the course of millions of years, causing volcanoes, earthquakes, whole mountain ranges to form in a matter of relative seconds; the flesh immediately beneath her skin, among which the mounds resided, swished and swirled almost imperceptibly, carrying blemishes from her chin up to her forehead and back around to her chin again, crossing the bridge of her nose and her upper lip in the process. Looking closer, she could see deep inside her pores, in which the same phenomenon was occurring; and inside the pores were more pores, which held more pores, which held more pores, and so on. In that instant her face was a kaleidoscope of motion and a fractal in form, and it was the most glorious thing she had ever seen. Falling through series after series of pores with lumpy flesh swirling endlessly around them, eventually she reached a point where she fell no further, and came to rest just short of another large hole with contained nothing but blackness and void. She threw her arms over her head, twirled around one hundred eighty degrees on the tips of her toes, and, keeping her body stiff as a board, let herself fall backwards into the hole in her brain.

Daily Hey Magic Number: 8

Write up #3

The following is another excerpt from my unpublished/unfinished novel TUTTI, Chapter 2: “The Cage”.

The trunk of the car was filled with sacks and sacks of goods and materials purchased at the mall by Chad?s wife. Julie stood next to Chad and looked inside the trunk alongside him. Chad turned to her, and she looked extremely tired. Meanwhile, Ari and Seph were a virtual tornado around their legs.

?They were? too strong?? Julie said weakly.

Chad smiled. ?That?s okay, honey. We had too much money anyway. Our purchases of these useless toys that will be used twice and then cast away will keep the economy strong.? Chad pulled as many shopping bags as he could out of the trunk and lugged them into the house. Julie did the same. Two trips later, they had gathered everything.

Ari and Seph immediately tore into their packages, quietly ignoring their new dresses, shoes, and sweaters in favor of Belly Button Ring Barbie and Teenage Pop Sensation Barbie, which, Chad noted, were for all intents and purposes the same damned Barbie. Also prevalent among the girls? new acquisitions was more Pokemon paraphernalia, which they immediately began fighting over. Chad?s curiosity was aroused at this because he had been absolutely certain the whole Pokemon scene would have played out by now. Soon, the girls had collected all of their materials, and, leaving aside for one moment the new apparel their mother had so kindly purchased for them, ran upstairs into their room in order to absorb the new objects into their respective greater toy collections.

Julie plopped down on the sofa. ?Jesus.?

?Bad?? asked Chad.

?Uh-huh,? Julie acknowledged.

?Just be glad we don?t have boys,? replied Chad.

?Oh, trust me, I am,? Julie fired back.

Chad sat down on the sofa next to Julie, who saw an opportunity and, smiling sweetly, immediately put her feet up in Chad?s lap. Chad, who?d had such automatic behavior patterns drilled into his skull from relationships much earlier in his life than Julie, began to rub her feet. Moments later, he looked down and wordlessly noticed that he was doing so.

?I couldn?t help but notice that you mowed the lawn,? Julie said.

?And so I have,? said Chad.

Julie unzipped her pants and pushed them down around her hips. ?Time for post-mowing sex, then!?

Daily Hey Magic Number: 23

Write up #2

The following is another excerpt from my unpublished/unfinished novel TUTTI, Chapter 2: “The Cage”.

Saturday morning came quickly and quietly, with the exception of Mrs. Rosen from across the street, whom Chad and Julie had to remind several times the night before that there were children upstairs who were trying to sleep.

Chad sat at the kitchen table and sipped his cup of coffee. He was drinking from his favorite mug, the one that had the cartoon of a large anthropomorphic piece of feces with a moustache leading around two smaller anthropomorphic pieces of feces. The caption, of course, was ?Number Two Dad?. It was a gift from one of his office buddies, given to him at around the time Seph was born.

It was Julie, the graduate student studying mythology, who came up with the very clever idea of giving their children names from mythology, with the twist that they would be characters from Greek mythology, so that their pairing with the last name ?Roman? would be laced with hilarious irony to anyone who happened to notice it. Chad was reluctant at first, but agreed for both children when his wife supplied the actual names. Ari was short for ?Ariadne?; Seph was short for Persephone ? both of these names he liked very much, though he was secretly hoping to have a son, which he would name ?Apollo?, or ?Pol? for short, which he thought might be a good name for, say, a star high school quarterback. Julie later admitted that her baby boy name would have been ?Hephaestus?, or ?Heph? for short, which, Chad joked, would be a good name for the founder of an adult magazine.

?He would be taking up the family business!? Chad shouted just before Julie clobbered him.

Occasionally, the girls would become upset that their names were so unusual and never appeared on things like key chains and bicycle license plates sold in discount stores and hotel gift shops, but Julie would mollify them by showing them artistic representations of the mythological characters whose names they bore, which they would always find interesting ? until Julie would inevitably hit that picture in the book, the one in full color, of Hermes, herald of the gods, interpreted here as a fully nude male figure, save for a winged hat; and of course his deific genitals were represented here, in proportion to the rest of his body, as being the size of fire ants. It never failed; the girls would see the picture and point and laugh and squeal uncontrollably, and ultimately Julie would need to put the book away and turn on the television to get them to be quiet. She was never clear, however, on whether they were laughing at the fact the genitals were so tiny, or genitals in general, or the picture of naked Hermes in its entirety, or the winged hat, which was pretty damned funny on its lonesome. Ultimately, she decided not to worry about it. Both children had accidentally wandered into Mommy and Daddy?s bedroom or shower at various inopportune moments, and so it was to be assumed that the girls at least knew of the existence of the male genitalia, if not its function.

Daily Hey Magic Number: 25

Write up #1

The following is an excerpt from my unpublished/unfinished novel TUTTI, Chapter 2: “The Cage”.

Chad Roman, father of two, husband of one, pulled his light blue Honda Civic into the driveway of his suburban tri-level home. It was a Friday evening and he was relieved to be free from work for the weekend. Today had been particularly stressful due to paperwork, deadlines, and the fact that the boss had inadvertently stapled his secretary?s brassiere to his thigh. All told, a relatively difficult day in the grand scheme, and what better way to unwind than by spending time in the home he (and his bank) owned, basking in the admiration of his two golden-haired daughters and his beautiful, charming wife, assisting in the preparation of and finding enjoyment in a delicious meal involving some sort of meat combined with some sort of vegetable, watching his favorite television programs in between conversing with his family during commercials, and then, later, after the girls had been tucked in tightly for the night, engaging in a lively bout of group sex with the neighbors.

?Fridays are my favorite days,? he thought to himself with a smile.

He stepped out of his car and into the still-bright afternoon sun. The front door of his house burst open and his laughing, delighted children came rushing out to greet him. His smiling wife, arms folded, leaned against the doorframe and shook her head gently in pride. Ari, 7, and Seph, 5, leapt with dexterity into Daddy?s waiting arms. He dropped his briefcase, grabbed one under each arm, and carried them into the house.

?Oh, honey!? Julie sighed as she picked up the briefcase from the neatly trimmed grass and followed them inside.

?How was school today?? Chad inquired of his eldest child.

?School was super duper butt!? Ari yelled in response, as she was wont to do. ?Mrs. Fitzsimmons made us all put our heads down on our desks because Kevin flicked a booger at her butt!?

?Booger booger booger!? Seph replied.

?So you all had to place your heads on your desks?? Chad inquired further.

?Yeah well Kevin picked his nose and flicked his booger at Mrs. Fitzsimmons?s butt and it stuck right to her butt and when she turned around to write on the whiteboard everybody saw the booger and it was big and gross so we screamed.?

?I see,? Chad noted. ?Did you inform Mrs. Fitzsimmons of the booger, or did she think you were all just screaming for no reason??

?Please!? Julie laughed. ?Some of us are trying to eat, here!? At that moment, Seph grabbed a fistful of mashed potatoes and stuffed them into her mouth. ?Use your fork, honey.?

?Jenny told her about the booger but she didn?t believe her so she had a booger on her butt, like, all day. It was something else,? Ari stated.

Julie?s eyes met Chad?s and they smiled. Chad ignored the adorable prattling of his children for a couple moments and admired his pretty wife: golden-haired (like his daughters), deep blue eyes, alabaster skin, curvy and bosomy and well-proportioned, with the sex drive of a porn star. This aspect was appropriate, given that Julie was, in fact, an ex-porn star ? although, asked about it now, she would likely downplay the whole ?star? status. ?I was a cog in a machine,? she would say. ?I was part of a team.?

Daily Hey Magic Number: 27

The story so far

Jonathan K. Chichenshist, a successful lingerie salesman, has been working long, difficult hours to sell the most lingerie for the month of February so that he and his family could win the prize vacation to Puerto Vallarta. As we left him, he was being seduced by the comely Mrs. Billingbuck, whom he does not know is a transvestite. Meanwhile, Esther K. Mutz tunnels her way out of Rustygate Prison with the assistance of her butch lesbian friend, Jenny; and across the country, one twelve-year-old boy named Driddy K. Goppings hops in place in the corner of the bathroom, oblivious to his grandfather’s screams.


     “But, Mrs. Billingbuck!” Jonathan stammered. “I’m a happily married man!”
     “So am I!” Mrs. Billingbuck yelled, throwing open her parka.
     “Whabbada wah!” Jonathan stammered, staggering backwards off the patio.
     “But what’s wrong?” Mrs. Billingbuck inquired.
     “She’s a he? He’s a she? Chee!” muttered Jonathan dizzily to himself before passing out in the bushes.

     Meanwhile, in Rustygate Prison, Esther and Jenny ceased digging their escape tunnel briefly in order to organize their plans.
     “How long is this tunnel so far?” Esther wondered.
     “Judging by how long it has taken us to get to this point, and by the amount of dirt we pile up per hour, I would have to say that this tunnel is approximately seventy five thousand miles long,” Jenny noted.
     “That’s long,” laughed Esther.
     “Too long,” Jenny grumbled. “We have overshot our target escape point by approximately seventy four thousand, nine hundred ninety nine and one half miles. We are now deep within the earth’s molten core, perhaps too deep to ever see the light of day again.”
     “Why don’t we just live here, and form our own underground society?” Esther suggested.
     “Okay,” smiled Jenny. “I get to be the daddy!”

     Meanwhile, in the bathroom, Driddy continued hopping.
     “Open that door!” his grandfather yelled. “Stop hopping! Open the door and stop hopping! Stop hopping and open the door! Open the door and open the door and stop hopping and open the door!” he yelled and yelled.
     Driddy continued to hop.

One hundred lies about myself

  1. My name is Oona.
  2. I am a married mother of two.
  3. I own seventeen cats.
  4. I breed them for combat.
  5. My friends tell me I look just like Alec Baldwin.
  6. I have a weave.
  7. I was a cast member on You Can’t Do That On Television.
  8. I have collagen injections in my lips.
  9. I received manual stimulation from a famous teenaged actress at theatre camp four years ago.
  10. My college major was biomechanical engineering.
  11. I am currently employed as a fencing instructor.
  12. For fun I tap dance for coins on subway platforms.
  13. I have twelve tattoos.
  14. One of them appears twice.
  15. This was the result of an oversight on my part.
  16. I collect gas masks.
  17. I own seven of them.
  18. I am famous for illustrating children’s books about poop.
  19. My body odor smells like chicken broth.
  20. I apply my freckles daily with a brown marker.
  21. I am Jewish.
  22. I am a rabbi.
  23. If I was a girl, my parents were going to name me “Katie-Baby”.
  24. I painted the walls of my apartment black.
  25. I did not recieve the landlord’s permission to do this.
  26. I have dyed my hair six different colors over the last three weeks.
  27. I am now bald.
  28. I have a pencil fetish.
  29. I have impregnated over seven thousand women.
  30. I am your long-lost twin brother.
  31. I lost my virginity in a ferris wheel…
  32. …one week ago today.
  33. I can’t stop eating olives.
  34. I make gin in my bathtub.
  35. It is chocolate-flavored.
  36. This is because I bathe in melted chocolate.
  37. I am an instrument of the Lord.
  38. Possibly a saxophone.
  39. I was Pat Buchanan’s running mate in the 2000 election.
  40. I had a torrid love affair with Saturday Night Live’s Melanie Hutsell.
  41. My grandfather never used an indoor bathroom once in his life.
  42. My fingernails are sensitive to laser beams.
  43. I have a birthmark shaped like Nixon on the back of my left thigh.
  44. I am allergic to peanuts.
  45. I am allergic to newsprint.
  46. I am allergic to pleather.
  47. I gave birth to a man just to watch him be born.
  48. I have been married one hundred thousand times.
  49. That was a rough week.
  50. I believe the children are our future.
  51. I believe when I fall in love with you it will be forever.
  52. Do I believe in miracles? Yes I do. You sexy thing.
  53. When no one’s looking I put a pink bow in my hair and call myself “Mary Susan”.
  54. My most embarrassing moment: trying to pee in the middle of class, and not being able to go. Too many onlookers!
  55. I am a United States Senator.
  56. I invented a new clown makeup which wards off evil.
  57. My friends call me “Killer”.
  58. I’ve only actually killed one or two people.
  59. In ‘Nam.
  60. I am a successful British comic book writer.
  61. I was married briefly to David Geffen.
  62. I have starred in three off-off-Broadway productions.
  63. I was on that show “Big Brother 2″ until they kicked me off for threatening another contestant with a knife.
  64. I play the french horn.
  65. I was in the Breeders.
  66. Kim Deal owes me fifty dollars.
  67. My feet are dry with the ashes of dead babies.
  68. There is a comet named after me.
  69. I am currently writing an unauthorized biography of Lorenzo Lamas.
  70. I have millions of dollars tied up in offshore funds.
  71. I drive a pink Corvette.
  72. When I was a teenager, my acne was notable for its consistent radial symmetry.
  73. I have a large scar that goes across both of my buttocks.
  74. My high school principal slashed my there with a scythe.
  75. It was part of a safety demonstration about scythes.
  76. I do voice-over work for Comedy Central.
  77. My best friend died a lonely man, in some Palm Springs a-hotel room.
  78. I got the call last Christmas Eve, and they told me the news.
  79. I am currently serving consecutive life sentences.
  80. They are not for anything in particular.
  81. I just woke up one day and felt like serving consecutive life sentences.
  82. I haven’t taken my garbage out since April 2000.
  83. I answer the phone with “Bite me!”.
  84. I was the seventh man on the moon.
  85. I keep the company of scarlet women.
  86. I am a black belt in jujitsu.
  87. I try not to wear shoes.
  88. My father is Bob from “Sesame Street”.
  89. I shave with a seashell.
  90. I am writing this on a Commodore 64.
  91. With a ballpoint pen.
  92. I had gay sex with Leonardo DiCaprio in a crowded movie theatre.
  93. I have thrown up fifty times in a single day.
  94. I once proposed to someone on the Jumbotron during a baseball game.
  95. That someone was noted Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Rob Dibble.
  96. He said no.
  97. But he was extremely flattered.
  98. I have artificial eyes.
  99. I can’t see the forest for the trees.
  100. I have had breast reduction surgery.

Inspired by Mr. Matt Fraction on his forum.