Driving through the moonlit countryside, Charlene built her story for missing curfew. Good grades might allow her to dodge the brunt of her parent’s anger. While the missing windshield would be tough to explain; her biggest problem was resting on the floorboards in the backseat. The lifeless body of the captain of the opposing football team would be a snag in any story. I can do this, she thought. I can do this.
Bubba threw another clarinet on the campfire. This year, he promised himself that he’d take marching season seriously this year. The bitter, cold Fall wind swept over his make-shift camp. He felt the rush of blood into his lungs with the intoxicatingly sweet aroma. Today would be the day he would bag the largest of the B flat scale creature. A sousaphone. By dinner, he would have a large shiny silver carcass roasting on a bonfire to match. It would be a celebration. It would make up for the meager bounty the day before. A guirro, a triangle and a few castanets.
Bubba grabbed the latest copy of Low Brass In The Wild to see what the recipe of the month was. As the pages flipped towards his destination, the traditional cascade of mailers fell from the magazine. Advertisements for the latest tuba-scented cologne. How annoying. Another article on how someone stranded in the wilderness survived 18 days on nothing but trombones and valve oil. Hmmm. Yes, he thought. Today is going to be a good day.
I would have taken the time to return your manuscript, but didn’t want to risk having it fall into the hands of someone else who might accidentally read its passages. I had contemplated burning it in my furnace. However, I felt that the fumes of this poorly-constructed prose might cause some level of harm to the environment. I can’t say exactly what made me consider another attempt at reading another of your stories. Much like driving by the scene of an accident, one feels compelled to see what is unfolding. Unfortunately, the literary morgue is now filled beyond capacity with your latest work. Words left feeling violated for having filled your manuscript.
I would appreciate your hesistancy to send future manuscripts. On a lighter note, I do find your story titles rather amusing. Death By Cheese Wheel, The Adventures Of The Laxative Cowboy, and The Boy With Two Spleens were among my favorite. You might consider switching to screenplays to sate the cinematic needs of a low budget horror film industry.
Her mind wandered from the moment. This evening would end like all of the others. She would have another soul; the man, sitting on the barstool before her, would die. You always remember the first time, smiling at the thought. She recalled how it used to bother her; thinking of her victims. Time, however, had worn away the last of any emotion. Seasons faded into one another. Her immortality, now measured with a select collection of historical events. Even in the final act of collecting souls, the mundane world unfolds around her, oblivious to its fate. Unable to remember her exact origins, her mind returned to her latest victim.
“This evening won’t be ending as you may have hoped,” Cora interrupted. “Shall I cut to the chase?”
“What?,” the man replied. “Can I still get you that drink?”
“No offense, but it’s time for you to go.”
She willed the dark mist formed around her unlucky suitor. As his world grew dark, he staggered away and fell to the floor. A few patrons rushed to his side, while shouts of calling an ambulance rang out. Cora quietly stepped away from her handiwork, and slipped outside.
stuff in my pockets
car keys wallet and small change
and something like lint
never has there been
a haiku about waffles
that is, until now
toothbrush oh toothbrush
I try to keep you free of
crusty gel boogers
religion should be
more than passing judgement on
everyone else dude
I will not make it
through this next office meeting
we’re out of coffee
A hangover gives
you the ability to
hear light pass through glass
let us find the man
who created the iron
and beat him senseless
where did the naked
people post their pics before
we had Internet
The silk shirt slid easily under his tailored jacket. His hand reflexively touched his silk tie then came to rest on his lap. He didn’t want to be here. The once calming desktop landscape of a stapler, tape dispenser and telephone no longer made him feel centered. A ringing phone used to mean one thing. Profit. That word used to send chills down his spine. That was how it used to be. Now, his phone remained silent. His workday would never end. Not since his soul passed from the living.
The clock hanging in his cubicle did not move. It would occasionally change, but never moved while he watched it. In life, clocks meant nothing to him. He measured his day by where the sun appeared. Deals could be struck at any time. Contracts didn’t wait for the office to open. It was that line of thought, he remembered, that got him here in the first place. As much as this supernatural corporate gulag bothered him, he didn’t want to think of a situation where he would want to meet his new boss.