Category Archives: Fiction

Adventure

I awoke to a strange and trembling new terrain about me,
Popping with the white-hot glare of a sandblasting heat,
And an enormity that flashed in all directions in my ears,
But the most strange and trembling part of it all,
Was that I had awoken fully awake, and standing.

The last thing I remember was drinking coolly of the murk
Of a dark and deep cave, grimy with the silt of the ages.
A small black cavecat skittered right across my pass,
And hovered a moment, head backturned to study me,
Eyes all aglow and flaming as a falling sun set behind.

And the sharp and angled shadows that had followed me,
Fell into grey and blurred figures of dissimilarity, so that
I could tell no longer the fine details in the cracked rock,
Or the floating speckles in the water, and soon my hand
Was gone from the end of my arm, as was the nose from my face.

It could have only have been a couple of seconds,
And then again it seemed that I lived several lifetimes,
And perhaps I was awake for it all, or maybe I slept.
But what affronted my eyes when I snapped awake,
Was a terrible and nightmarish sight like I had never seen.

A procession of swimming, blubbering, insectoid larvae,
Each shiny in its beetle’s shell, its legs instead discs of cool flame,
Pushed along like smooth caterpillars with hard organs,
Following an invisible river, a path cut deep into the ground.
But they appeared to overtake each other like minnows.

Indeed, they swam as in a school, lined up in neat trembling rows,
Like the paired segments of the carnivorous desert bandiwurm,
Old myths, but I have seen them in my traversing the far off dunes.
And this travel had become a frightening one, everything disjointed,
An unforgiving apathy of all the interconnectedness around them.

The shimmering, glassy foreheads of each of these monsters
Housed demons, eyes piercing into me with a truth that I couldn’t know.
Almost hairless, and quivering with sadness and turmoil and paranoia.
They stepped into and out of their host creatures as they pleased,
And were garbed in the most fantastic and peculiar of ways.

Looking down to shield my eyes from the glare of the sun,
I noticed that I was wearing a coat of flat animal’s skin,
Green and brown and black and the soft color of wet stone.
Like a pressed reptilian leatherskin padded with foliage,
But it had not the weight nor the texture of such a makings.

As my eyes adjusted to the day I noticed two things;
Those singularly beautiful and indescribable clothes,
(With the nagging wonder as to the point of their origin),
And the cold. For despite that incandescent ball of day,
A biting chill explored my extremities and slowed my blood.

I lifted my hand from my eyes, cautious against my surroundings,
And took a hard, squinting look from beneath the stabbing shadow
At the forms and figures that passed this way and that.
Many wore dark cloth, and carried taut packages at their sides.
Most of them hurried as if to a hunt, but walked in a straight line.

They reminded me of the familial people of my home,
In the land of the craggy caves and crooked rocks.
For protruding from the ground were hills and mountains,
But I saw that they were sheer as if crafted by these demons.
And many had pointed juts that cut into a familiar sky.

Towering, shimmering immensity, they must have housed giants,
And I thought that they would awaken from their shapely
Cocoons and make with their attack at any moment.
And the one largest before me had a cavernous carved opening,
As if its inhabitant had recently emerged and bounded away.

As dusk fell, the earlier secret eyes of the swimming bugbeasts,
Awoke into yellow flame against the rainy snow and erupted with a crackle.
I fell to sit against flat stone and held myself warmly, awake with fear.
Images and colors I had scarcely seen, shot me like lightning bolt arrows,
Whenever I flickered my eyes, trying to sense an imminent attack.

As my breathing calmed, I stood once more, and my blood stirred from it.
It didn’t look like I was in any of harm’s way, and no longer panicked.
But I kept my wary guard and balanced evenly on the balls of my feet.
I looked to the sky directly above me, and saw the stars shyly emerge.
Hidden behind a murky veil, I struggled toward them to see.

The clouds had grown here, presuming this was at all like my home,
To encompass a sky once lively with wood and leaf and birdlife.
Never before but on the mountains and plains had such a sky been seen,
Presented and obscured at the same time by the contempt of the wind,
And the temperamental spirits that control its destiny over climes.

Far on the horizon, my sharp eyes cut through the sheer rock faces
To witness a pink and dying sunset, hidden by a veil of rainless rain clouds.
The wind sprites had long abandoned their posts here, or perhaps,
Had never graced this land with their benevolent dance of balance,
Instead leaving only these demons, and I thought at once that I was in hell.

Had I died in that cave, and gone to the dark place for my final trial?
Perhaps the legends had been wrong about our gods and demons,
And this ‘other-world’ was all that had been real, for it was too real.
Had I been alive, I wondered, in that cave I had known since my youth,
Which was the dream, and was this some god or wizard’s intervention?

As if in answer, the vertical hills and mountains filled with sorcerer’s light,
And the dead leafless trees themselves lit in defiance of the moonless night.
Luminescent as the day must be in hell where no sun can survive,
I rubbed my hands together to bring life to my crackling digits and joints,
And tried to ignore the jungle-roar of my neglected and long-famished belly.

Though I dare not move from my post, as any good hunter has learned,
I thought it best to acquaint myself with this alien terrain and peoples,
If anything to better prepare myself to survive this new life, or afterlife.
In no direction was a path home to be seen, and I tasted an acrid copper
Smell in the air, heralding a burning death that permeated this place.

I had passed a dozen eyes before I realized that these were no demons,
But passive, cold humans, each aimed directly towards their destiny,
That little beyond the ebb and flow of the invisible river could hinder.
They had in them the warm blood of life, though I had no way of knowing,
If perhaps this was some trickery, or still the suitable case of being in death.

And that’s when I saw a young human, timid and weak for survival,
Who averted his eyes from mine, his elder, and challenged no one.
He pulled himself back into his skins and cloths, and sneezed.
I reached out to him in a moment for information, for simple guidance.
He reeled when my fingers curled around his arm, and as they did…

…I had this dream last night that I was back in high school,
And that was also Strategic Air Command for some reason,
And that for some reason we were located in a box canyon,
And that a deadly sandstorm was barreling down to kill us all.
And so I went to find my old high school girlfriend (how lame),
And couldn’t see over the tumultuous panicking crowds,
And each of the escape pods in the plastic tubes jettisoned,
And so I made my way towards the center of the school,
And retrieved my jet pack from its locker in shop class.
And as the flesh-searing sands stormed closer, I was off.
And I searched and I searched for my lost sweetheart,
And just when I thought that I saw her amongst the throng,
And the deadly tearing particles of dust inched ever closer,
And her eyes finally met mine…

I lost control of the nonsensical vision, of the stalwart spirits between us.
A highly confusing affair, the information seeped into the crevices of my brain.
I lost grasp of the man, the parasite for whom these angels of night suckled.
He walked faster past and away from me, and I fell full onto my front,
And tasted the cold stony air of the hard canyon that grew above me.

I had read his dreams, like the old ones of my people were learned to do,
As I, my father’s son, would have been taught to do, had it not been for–

I firmed myself, convinced that these demon people were as real as I,
This place simply their fantastic village, as in stories told by my well-traveled uncle
And fully accepted that I was trapped in a world of evil gods, or the dead.
I approached a woman of this massive opal-smooth chasm of echoes,
Hoping her matronly ways and instincts would convince her to help me.

As I spoke and stumbled, she moved away, perhaps afraid of my kind?
With a start, she was gone, and my vision darted, suspiciously grasping.
Could it be that these demons were afraid of a man, a man such as I?
Is it possible that I was brought here against their will, not in accordance?
Had I power over their monstrosities? Would I battle their highest king?

Advertisements

Paul Harvey News and Comment brought to you by Natural Gas! It’s totally natural

“Hello, America. This is Paul Harvey. Stand by for news! You’ve heard the news, in a moment you’re going to hear… more news. But first… the news.

Today’s news of most lasting sssignificance may be this: Now, new strategy in the Middle East: Most world leaders say no to peace in the Middle East. Psychic Selma Hayek was very critical, not sunflower oil. So says Islamic Extremist Iman O’Doderincoot. Iman has never once forgotten an anniversary. The President of these United States of America and also Missouri addressed the Congress of these United States of America and also Missouri today in a tirade that the press are calling the “State of the Union!” address, to compel them to approve another sixteeeen billion dollars in military spending? He said: There is no way… no way… no way Hezbollah’s missiles will ev-er be de-stroyed… no way. We are fighting a war that cannot be won. Cannot be won? And Congress approved his bidget without any unanimity or carousal. Wal*Mart em-ploy-ees could still veto.

It’s true. Just like your local True Value Hardware Store. When you let a True Value Hardware Store into your commercially zoned district then you’re making less room for drug-addled moms and pops peddling their ill wares. Ill! Why, with new advancements in technology, scientists are predicting that a local True Value Hardware Store could protect you from the oncoming super-hyper-mega-global-superstorm. And it’s gonna be big, too! Support your local True Value Hardware Store, the only Hardware Store that guarantees not… not to rape your daughter, and you’ll know you couldn’t have a better neighbor.

Numismatists will be displayed at the Denver World Fair, teeeeen nineteen-thirty-three gold double-eagle standards be-yond price, but by that date only Chicago will be above water.

This scientific development may be of the utmost crucial significance to our modern world since the first sssssslicing of bread back in 1492. Scientists, scientists have discovered the fossils of born-again robots on the moon, each resplendent with cap-sules for Ocular Nutrition and Health! Don’t believe me? Of course you do. I’m Paul fucking Harvey.

Anybody in Detroit who has been pointing laser beams at the airplanes, don’t do that. It’s not nice and several pilots have complained.

Donald Raaaaaay Bizbeeee sent bomb threats and anthrax to the FBI with his full name and return address. Donald Ray Bizbee was married yester-day to Alabama, page two. How many ninety-six-year-old college radio stations do you know with a blue-belt in karate? I know of one. Caroline Eggplant keeps her virgin bones pure with ssssssscitrical. Citrical hides its neuropeptides behind fudge, and caramel, and butter! Virgina Cootch says that the pain in her knees has only gotten worse. The horr-or. The unbearable horr-or.

She’s spunky! Yes, she’s spunky! When faced at knifepoint by grown men pretending to be cowboys, Deuteronomous Jones grabbed a carving knife four-teeeen inches long, and in her best Austral-i-an accent intoned the words, “You call that a knife? This is a knife.” That story… may or may not… be true?

Look, ma. On top of the world.

College Newspapers across America and also Missouri are printing editorial comment on noted actor Jeff Goldblum. But (chuckles) the youngsters say it’s not all their fault. (serious) It came to them in a dream..

A woman in Mesa, Arizona shot dead in the street seven times in the chest and her lifeless body ravaged by necrophiles who have already killed eleven. Was it or not… fould play? Go on to the website and tell us your story about a stand-strong woman you know.

Walgreens has more than seventeen-thousand drive-thrus! Now you can get your drugs even faster in this secure system. The makers expect to fill.. the… sky… with them. Two more reasons PauL Harvey won’t confess to murder.

And now. For what it’s worth: We’re standing around dying, to chant our feeble litanies, to think sweet thoughts, to do good deeds, the altar lights grow pale and dim, the bells hang silent in the tower- so passes with the dying hymn our little hour. We cannot remain indecisive and scorekeeping, our founding fathers denies us that ethical asylum by elbowing smallpox blankets and chiggers.. chiggers! Aglow with luminary up and down the discovery of the West across the shores and continents in nineteen-forty-eight for your Bose-wave radio. Small-town full-time policemen going by their first name and American self-righteousness: and nothing is right or wrong but thinking makes it so, and (chuckles) I don’t know, but I think we’re right. Praiseworthy weapons in silos of hope have made us what we are today, a trial by fire, not made of sugar-candy. And we grew prosperous. Yes, we greased our toenails with the sweat of slaves in 98% of all cases. They do not believe what I have just told you. But what I have just cited is true, and everybody knows it. Everybody but the United Nations, the Offices of Judicious International Immigration Revue, tomato-plants and even foreign fire crews at the National Academy of Sciences. And at the edge of this genocidal nation-state, a while butterfly flies overhead rows and rows of stallions, and snap-peas and Agalinis purpure, purple foxgloves… under scrutiny of the Federal Food and Drug Administration… for soon friends, maybe we can answer that age old question of what is right? Well, friends, right is just left going the… other… direction?…

Paul Harvey. Good day?

Chiquita Shares

CHIQUITA SHARES

Once upon a time there was a tiny island upon the land of which lived a tiny race of tiny people, whom where known as… “The Japanese.” Long ago there had been a tiny war with their embittered rival… “The America.” America, a great, expansive, faraway land, was a proud nation with great talk shows and chicken wings of great fire. They waged a great war with great bombs until a great peace treaty was signed. And it was all pretty great.
Over many years, the Japanese and the American economies fused into one amorphic symbiotic entity, an increasingly indistinguishable mixture in some sort of pot… with melting in it. I don’t know if you know where I’m going with that or not. The culture gap, thusly, was blurred as growing children of each nation were raised on the cartoons of the other. Leaders and speakers from each land slurred their languages together into one. And so it was, that Japan and America became… “Jamericorp.” A company dedicated to liberty, harmony, and low, low prices on all brand name items. Any vestige of former government was abandoned, forgotten for this new enterprise.
Soon after this abrupt and poorly crafted plot point was put into effect, the Japanese scientists renowned for developing square watermelons were contracted by Chiquita. Their project was top secret, the utmost in national security. In fact… I don’t think I should really be telling you this… hmmm… don’t know if I can trust you to… weeeell… hokay, you got an honest face. As it so happened, they were trying to create a single banana, independent of the rest of its bunch, large enough to feed a family of eighteen. (Ed: That’s how large the average Jamericorp family is. Yeah.) And they succeeded. And Chiquita shares went up forty points, giving them a total of… forty points.
But the Japanese scientists soon became very bored, as they are wont to do. They hypo-theorized: if this was all it took to feed a family of eighteen, then why not a family of twenty-seven, the age that Kurt Cobain died at? Or why not a small African village? Hell, why not even a moderately-sized African village? Why not Detroit? You know those scientists. They are all about the charity and stuff. So they developed a meta-banana, immense as a skyscraper and at least 20-60% tastier. (Ed: This does not include some of your well-known tastier towers such as the Coit Tower or that one in Pisa.) And they succeeded. Chiquita shares went up one hundred more points.
However, the scientists noticed that their meta-bananas, lacking meta-refrigeration, were becoming rotten shortly past their prototype phase, and that some of the larger and more meta of the bunch didn’t even make it past R&D. And so the scientists genetically altered the makeup of the banana’s DNA even further, endowing it with impenetrable peel and allowing the sweet and juicy innards to stay sweet… and juicy, rendering the banana invincible, as it were. (Ed: ‘As it were’? Shouldn’t it be ‘as they were’ or ‘as it was’? Whatever.) And they succeeded in doing so, and Chiquita shares went up one hundred and seventy points.
Again, they became very bored. They had exhausted all practical and ideal developments for the banana. So much so, in fact, that now these bananas could not even be opened to be eaten. Not only could they not be eaten, they couldn’t even be consumed. So they gave the bananas an artificial intelligence comparable to Nintendogs or Albert Gore. This banana would ripen on command and peel itself. And they succeeded, and as they did so, Chiquita shares went up ninety points.
But one fateful night, something went frightfully wrong. As the scientists slept in their tiny beds, Prototype Banana-43 awoke and, crashing through the minimally secured compound walls, (this is Japan, after all), headed the ludicrously crowded city of Tokyo. That’s right. Tokyo.
Kimi Fukishawa was the first to see the giant banana, and the first to meet her fruity fate. Standing atop her apartment building on the outskirts of town, smoking a cigarette, her eyes widened as they took in the monster, shaking off its debris. She let loose a horrendous scream, slightly out of sync with her lips. Her husband raced upstairs, but he was too late. All he found was trail of wreckage blocks wide, fiery carnage spewing from gas mains, and both his wife and half of his roof missing.
In the following days, madness ensued. The weak Japanese army and cheaply made American weapons were no match for the impregnable peel of the beast. Tanks toppled like Matchbox toys, and bodies smeared against the pavement resounding with terror! The death count reached into the millions, rose even higher, as the property damage counted in the million-billions! I’m not great at math, but I can assure you, that’s a fucking lot!
Screaming and running from what reporters and analysts had dubbed ‘Bananazilla,’ the masses were soon crushed under the enraged stem of deranged lunacy. Having utterly crushed Japan’s center of commerce, its economy inadvertently destroyed, and subsequently, America entering its worst Depression since the cancellation of TV’s Jeopardy!, Bananazilla retired to the Oceanic depths, waiting to strike again in a fervor of tyranny! Jamericorp ceased to be! The scientists, in their final moments, had decried their folly in playing God, and were now also dead. The remaining Japanese hid underground surviving on regimented diets of sewer-sushi and Li-Chi, millions of Americans with nothing to eat at all but mayonnaise, confused and wandering their emptied cities. Luxembourg became the world’s leading superpower. Didn’t see that one coming, didja?
There was no recovering, and there was no respite, for at any given place and at any given time, Bananazilla, scourge of humanity and developed civilization, could and would strike again. Wreaking havoc neatly and constantly striking fear into the already chilled souls of every man, woman, and tender child, each quaked, as they knew they were still at risk. The beast… hungered. It delighted only in darkness and the bringing of great nations to its knees, removing their proverbial jugular veins in a fit of willful and impassioned fury, when least suspected. It was, and still is out there somewhere, the embodiment of all that rings evil.
And Chiquita shares went down five hundred points…

Video

Eh, Cumpari!

a nonsensical romp of stream-of-consciousness crime fiction writing, with our young protagonist not particularly knowing the reasons for his persecution. Starring the likes of Zachary Markel, Ian Livingston, Bobby Hecht, Jim Vivas, Aaron Kinney, Jon Cocco, and Rob Carrick. With the voice of Erin Yudenfreund. Co-produced with Bobby Hecht. Now with even more accordion music!

Script to follow:

Continue reading

Video

Noir

 

A quick experiment for a longer script exploring the idea that the main character of a Noir story is aware of his fictional existence and the tropes all around him, and the dangers and opportunities this presents. Co-produced with Joe Kennedy.

Script:

Continue reading

For Insurance Purposes Only

 

A semi-autobiographical audit of my personal belongings, assets, and valuables on video FOR INSURANCE PURPOSES ONLY.

Video

Moon

*still has no audio track*

A dream sequence based on the short Barry Yourgrau story, ‘Moon’ from his collection “The Sadness of Sex.” Starring Ian Livingston.

Mostly just another experiment, so please excuse its artsy-fartsy nature