March 27

Crackling

 

It was Salem, Massachusetts during the witch hunts and burnings of the 17th century. Manley Jonas was usually the first to insidiously target and to start a witch rumor. If most had taken notice, they would have observed that most of the accused were a little plump. He had a motive, he really didn’t enjoy the burnings; in fact it made him sad.

But he so enjoyed the crispy skin cracklings.

March 24

Radicalization

 

Victor was high again. He wasn’t entirely sure anymore what he had taken, but some combination of potent chemicals was making everything fucking amazing. Motes of fire exploded into the faces of people long since dead in his peripheral vision. Victor was certain that these ghosts had been summoned by the paint he had been huffing since breakfast. Victor slapped himself in the face as hard as he could, but discovered he was incapable of feeling pain. “You need to kill a black man,” said the disembodied flaming face of his great grandfather. Well, he didn’t say black man, but Victor knew what he meant. Victor smiled and felt his smile crack open the sides of his face. Victor and the ghosts got inside his luxury sedan and went cruising.

Jonathan was having dinner with his family. It wasn’t dinner for Jonathan, he worked the third shift as a security guard at a casino, but it was for his family and he had always insisted on the family having dinner together. Jonathan was telling his son to finish his peas when they heard the crash outside.

Jonathan ran to the front window with his family on tow. On the front lawn they saw a white sedan had crashed into the small fountain in their front yard.

“Call 911 Martha,” Jonathan said. “James, stay inside I’m going to see if they’re alright.”

Victor was a god. He had suspected it before but he was sure of it now. “A mortal would have surely died,” said his best friend from high school sagely. He would know, after all he had died in a crash very much like this one. Victor got out of his car and stumbled onto the lawn.

“Just stay there man,” Jonathan said. “I’ve called the paramedics. Are you ok?”

“Shut your mouth black man!” Victor screamed. Well, he didn’t say black man, but Jonathan knew what he meant. Jonathan began backing slowly towards his house, but Victor charged for him. They fell onto the lawn together Victor clawing and biting at him.

Jonathan reached around blindly and his hand found a stone garden boarder. He grabbed it and slammed it into the side of Victor’s head. Jonathan pushed the smaller man off him and scrambled through his front door, slammed it behind him and locked it. “Martha,” he shouted, “get the other door.” Jonathan went into his bedroom and unlocked the safe he kept in the closet with his work uniform. His hands shook as he removed his gun from the safe and loaded it.

Victor was shocked. Tears streamed down his face. The rock had not hurt, Victor now knew gods could not feel pain, but he was shocked and hurt that some piece of shit had dared to strike him. Victor rose from the lawn and pounded on the front door. “Don’t you know who I am,” he screamed. “Come out here and let me kill you!” Victor slammed his shoulder into the door. He did so again and again. He felt something pop unpleasantly in his shoulder and his left hand fell to his side uselessly. Still he kept slamming the door until the wood around the deadbolt gave way. Victor smiled then.

Jonathan stood on the other side of the door, feet firmly planted in a marksman’s stance, his gun on Victor. “One more step,” he said, “and I shoot.”

“Guns can’t hurt gods, black man,” Victor said. He didn’t say black man, but you get the idea. He started forward and Jonathan fired three controlled shots. Victor fell to the floor to the sound of approaching sirens. Jonathan sighed and lowered his gun, he did not put it away, but relaxed his shoulders.

Jonathan stared in horror as hooded white robed figures leapt from the gunshot wounds in Victor’s body. Figure after figure poured from the corpse in Jonathan’s living room. They raised up tiny confederate flags and set Victor’s underwear on fire.

The ambulance and police finally arrived to discover Jonathan frantically knocking over tiny crosses while the little men attempted to reignite Victor’s smoldering underwear. I’m afraid I’m going to have to place you under arrest sir,” said the police officer.

Jonathan stared agog at them his mouth open. “Excuse me?” he said.

“Yes sir, you are violating the civil rights of these people,” said the policeman.

“They’re setting fire to my living room!” Jonathan exclaimed.

“If your house catches on fire we will quite happily call the fire department, but I’m afraid you will have to come with us,” said the other policeman, who was, as a point of fact, a woman.

They took Jonathan’s gun from him and placed him in handcuffs. “Martha, call my lawyer, James finish your peas,” said Jonathan. On the way to the police car the policeman who was a man slammed Jonathan into the side of the car. “Fuck!” Jonathan shouted, “I think you broke my nose.”

“Whatever,” said the policeman and forced him into the backseat of the patrol car.

As he sat in the backseat tiny Black Panthers dripped from Jonathan’s nose.

Category: Cake Earthead | 1 Comment
March 22

Funereal Disease

 

I felt embarrassed to be at my own funeral. Time travel created these sorts of faux pas. I had trimmed my beard earlier in the day, from my reference point, or many years in the past. But I still felt out of place.

The mortician, his three strands of hair plastered to his scalp, gazed at the body in the open casket, shaking his head. “I can’t get the bones to stay in,” he kept saying by way of apology to everyone gathered. Most people ignored him, pushing forward to flamingo pink chairs. No one wanted to stand the whole time. If the awkward flapping of the carrion birds wasn’t enough, there were low parlor ceilings to contend with.

So they all huddled in, crouching if they could not find a seat. A man was forced to remove his ten gallon hat and a woman to undo her beehive hairdo. I noticed a crunching under my feet, as if someone had dropped pretzels everywhere, but the lighting was too dim to see. I regretted attending; time travel wasn’t cheap. Deliberately I crushed something under my heel.

“Chicken bones,” said the homely lady in furs next to me with a wince.

“No, no. Bones of the deceased, I’m afraid,” the mortician said. “Just so many and so small, I couldn’t keep them all in the cada—the body. I’ll give everyone five dollars back at the door as you exit. I’m just so sorry.” But none of the guests seemed to care. I hunched over, grabbing for a bone. The one I snatched did look like a chicken bone with some dried up meat left on, though it was distinctly greenish.

“Our bones are green on the inside,” said a rugged gentleman in front of me. He handed me his business card, reading: In the Business of Crying. It listed twelve different email addresses. “Are you the deceased’s grandson?”

I’ll be forty-three years older when I pass. The attendees assumed I was a relative of mine, but no one seemed to realize I had time traveled from the past, despite my name tag giving my true and full name. I did not answer, so he simply nodded with a sad smile, adding: “Glad we could both be inside him here, with the bones.”

I was very upset with the whole affair, and I hadn’t yet been to pay my own respects to myself. “I’ll travel back and get myself a better funeral,” I fumed.

The woman in furs turned to me and said, “Don’t waste your time. It won’t work.” Then I noticed the woman was actually me, a few years older, in disguise. It was not the look I was meant to sport.

How many times had I time travelled to my own funereal? I couldn’t let this become my lifelong obsession.

“Instead, I shall simply die right now to save myself the embarrassment.” So I marched up front, pulled the future me from the casket and lay down in it. Everyone clapped as I forced myself to die there. Some of them were me, so they knew how much it meant to us.

March 6

Self Help

 

I keep a brace of coneys in the refrigerator. The only part that’s important to me are the eyes. I slice them open with a razor blade and allow the bitter vitreous humor to burst in my mouth and dribble down my chin. I feel normal for the first time. People say hello and sincerely want to know me. We laugh and we cry together over mundane things. When the mystical juice wears off at the end of the day, I return to my smeared lipstick and cheap costume.

March 6

Voice

 

I could tell you a lot of things. Like where I was last night and how much beer I drank and how many times I wanted to break someone’s face open with my fist. I could describe in detail how people around me seem not to matter as much, people in general, all their intentions and perspectives and externalized realizations cluttering my surroundings. I could sit you down and explain the ways I function when I am sober and then when I am not, how my brain reacts to stimuli presented to me without warning. The stories I could tell you would challenge your everyday opinions about the world, about yourself, your matter of being. My voice would carry across the space between us and leave you lonely and alone. Your face would become ashen and your blood would drain into places you never knew existed. It would be a simple thing, really, without much need for instruction. Look at me: If I told you anything else, you’d die.

–Jeffrey S. Callico

February 26

Congratulations, Joe

 

Joe was until he lost his enthusiasm. His passage traveled from and then to where a conflict intervened after a cause. When a presence appeared out of now here, Joe became certain, so certain in fact that he exacted himself fictionless. The price was only 7.99 plus a tax on the body.

February 23

Saint Ives

 

On my way to saint Ives, I met a man with seven wives. He told me that he was on the run from the state police that were trying to enforce their laws of monogamy upon him. He conferred in me that this was not his only trouble. Each of his wives had been involved in illegally breeding and dealing in an endangered species of cat. If his wives were caught, the man told me, they would all spend the rest of their lives in prison, thus they were forced to hide their cats (about seven each) in the numerous sacks that they carried. Unfortunatly, it seemed that all of the cats had simultaniously had kittens and the sacks were becoming a little over crowded.

At the time, I smiled and wished the man luck, not knowing what else to do. As soon as he was out of sight, however, I notified the local police of the man’s whereabouts. It simply wasn’t safe or humane to keep all those cats in such little sacks. As for the copious wives the man had, well, that was just greedy. It also didn’t hurt that there was a large reward for any information leading to his arrest.

Category: Billy Risby | 1 Comment
February 20

Vagina anxiety

 

Vagina anxiety
It’s Wednesday, and I’m a nervous wreck. Alicia told me her mother would be out of the house all day Saturday, and she would have the house all to herself. She said we could spend the time together. I knew exactly what Alicia meant; sex. Why did I tell her I was a stud when I have never had sex in my life? Now she thinks I am some experienced sex fiend, and if for no other reason, she is totally attracted to me.
Lying to her was a big mistake. How the heck was I supposed to know things would move so quickly? We just became a couple last week. I have only kissed her once, and it was so awkward.
This Saturday sex thing is full of problems. I have never seen a vagina, not even on TV. Sure, I have seen a woman with all that bushy hair in some movie I watched when my parents were not around. But I have never actually seen what a real vagina looks like. I know it has holes, but I have no idea how many. Is there a hole for peeing, one for babies to come out of and one for sex? How will I know if I am in the right hole without appearing like a dork! Oh my God, what do I do? I have not slept well since she told me of our sex date on Saturday. I am totally stressed. Maybe I should come clean. How can I be so dumb about a vagina?
On Thursday, I started a casual conversation during my walk home with Pete and Oran my best friends. I got the conversation around to girls and gradually to vaginas. Pete said there was no hole to begin with, you had to poke the hole open with your penis and then it stayed that way. That is how he had done it with all the girls. How did the girls pee I asked him. He said they did everything through their butts until you busted their vagina open. It sounded terrible and painful. It scared me more than ever. I did not want to be busting open any hole on anybody. Oran my other friend said he hadn’t done it yet, but had touched a vagina once and it felt like a slippery fish, and smelled like one too”. He didn’t like the feel or the smell he said.
I was almost on the verge of tears. A slippery, smelly vagina that I had to poke a hole in; and I was not sure it was even one hole, maybe I had to poke three holes. Oh my God, I am thinking of running away from home.
Friday morning I couldn’t focus. I walked like a zombie to school. I looked at every girl I passed wondering if her hole had been poked open yet. I wished I could ask if it took more than one poke and how many holes had to be poked open.
I dreaded the thought of even talking to Alicia that morning. Joy of joys, she was not at our usual meeting spot when I got there. Then Clarissa, Alicia’s best friend came running up to me and asked if I had heard. I looked at her puzzled. She said Alicia was taken to the hospital. She had fallen and broken her ankle coming down the stairs in her house.
I tried to look upset, but my heart was busting with happiness. I walked away from Clarissa feigning grief. Around the corner, I did a full spin and some fist pumps.

February 18

Seven Casual Simultaneous Occurances

 

1. So you’re walking your banana when a pirate ship flies by without a turning signal. If the duck stays the same, how many barrels of vinegar will it take to burn the American flag?

2. So you’re climbing a tree without a bicycle and a Walmart associate asks for a price check. Do you change into another pair of dive fins or continue teaching a classroom of elephants?

3. So you’re on the loo. Why is there a homeless man on the corner watching?

4. So you’re stuffing a Beanie Baby with tater tots when the phone rings in your stomach. A golfer swings his club at a watermelon till a garden gnome loses his fishing license. What is the chance of rain?

5. So you’re snacking on a newspaper when suddenly the light turns off. You tell yourself to quit it and turn the light back on. Do you comply?

6. So you’re riding a horse with no legs when a tidal wave knocks the baguette from your holster. Do you call customer service and hang up or bury a Happy Meal toy in your neighbor’s yard?

7. So you’re explaining a differential equation to a ferret when a werewolf knocks on your door. You open the door and tell him he doesn’t exist and shut the door in his face. Where was the snow shovel?

February 17

Community peep hole

 

Community peep hole
In cleaning the new apartment I found a hole in the wall. The landlord came by, looked at it and said he’d return to fill it, but so far he hasn’t.
One day I put my eye to the hole. At first I thought it was maybe the beers I had with the guys on my way home. I rubbed my eyes and looked again… A big fat tattooed butt crack looked back at me.
I jerked back.
“Come over here and look through that hole” I called out loudly to my roommate.
“Whose hole?’ the roommate inquired.
I pointed to the hole.
“Oh, yeah, that hole. I looked through it earlier and saw some weird dude” he said.
“Oh you saw it too?” I asked relieved.
“Yeah, I’ve seen weird ass shit before, but man, that’s the weirdest shit I I’ve ever seen, sick man, just freaking sick. I ain’t looking through that hole no more” he said as he walked out the room shaking his head.
I couldn’t help myself, I looked again. A man was having his butt crack tattooed. The actual spread the cheeks crack. TATTOOED!
“What the hell! You have to be pissing drunk or stark crazy to do weird shit like that.” Then I felt a ripple of pain in my butt.
I rose fearfully, walked over to the mirror and nervously removed my boxers.
The peeper jerked back.
“Come over here and look through that hole” he called out loudly to his roommate.
“Whose hole?’ the roommate inquired.
He pointed to the hole.
“Oh, yeah, that hole. I looked through it earlier and saw some weird dude” he said
“Oh you saw it too?” he asked relieved.
“Yeah, I’ve seen weird ass shit before, but man, that’s the weirdest shit I I’ve ever seen, sick man, just freaking sick. I ain’t looking through that hole no more” he said while he walked out the room shaking his head.