Saturday, July 31, 2010

Panties Half Off part nine

Price Breaks and Heartaches

A journal of retail and failed romance

Chapter Three

Panties Half Off

part nine





My car was still out of commission so Lilly picked me up and brought me to her place for a little dinner and an episode of ‘Moonlighting’. Jessie was out of town at some kind of bodybuilding competition but I couldn’t relax, there were reminders of the relationship I was intruding on everywhere- from pictures to mementos to container after container of weight gain powder.


I had hidden a red carnation in my lunch box and gave it to Lilly, all the while thinking to myself Take THAT Beverly.


Any chance I got I leaned across the dinner table, I don’t think I ate much really but I ended up with a lot of fettuccine sauce on my sleeves. Telling her I loved her was as easy as breathing and every time I did she would reply “You better.”


Once the meal was over we retired to the couch, and after moving the Stairmaster out from in front of the TV she fired up her VCR.




*



I barely noticed the sound of a postmodern dramedy, I was too busy watching her. The TV could have been playing static and polka music for all I cared. Her laughter was like the sun peering out from behind the clouds on a chilly day. It was all worth it. I thought to myself, Every miserable moment of the last four years was worth it.


When Lilly finally noticed that I was staring at her she blushed. I gave her a kiss and she said “To Hell with Bruce Willis.”


But we’ve all said that at least once I think, especially after ‘Hudson Hawk’.


She turned the TV off, I dimmed the lights. I had worn a shirt with snaps for easy access. This time I was ready. This time I was mentally reciting the companions from 'Doctor Who' in backwards order to keep my passions from getting the better of me.


“You really are something else.” I said.


“You’ll find I’m full of surprises.” Lilly's voice was husky.


Now nothing gets me hotter then girls quoting ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ at me so we were off.


The feel of her against me left my spirit feeling untethered, my every breath was a shudder; my senses were on fire. It was all too good to be true; moments of impossible joy strung together like the paragraphs of a romance novel written by a mental patient.


Ahem.


Before the prose, or anything else for that matter, could get any purpler the phone started to ring. Lilly blundered for the phone, I caught her hand, “Leave it.”


“I can't,” She put the phone to her ear. “Jessie? ...I was talking to myself. ...no I'm not doing anything.”


Ouch.


Suddenly self-conscious I began to close my shirt back up, but I was a little too quick. Let's just say that hairy chested Italian men and snaps don't always mix.


“...oh that's great. I can't wait to see it ...well maybe. You always use too much bronzer. ... well you do. Now don't talk like that. I didn't mean...”


All I wanted right then was for her to tell Jessie to fuck off and hang up on him. Lilly didn't have to stay here, I was sure she could stay with my at my parents house for a while. If my parents didn't want her sleeping with me, my sister's room was currently empty. I really didn't think it would be an issue either way; my mother and stepfather would be too delirious with joy at finally seeing me develop visible glimmerings of heterosexuality.


“...Ok ...all right ...you too,” Her eyes flicked towards me, “love you.”


Double ouch.


She hung up the phone with an apologetic shrug, “If I hadn't answered he would have just kept calling.”


Since the mood had officially been killed, dug up and killed again, I thought it might be a good time to lay my cards on the table. “Lilly,” I took her hand in mine. “You know I love you right?”


“It's like a mantra with you.”


“Exactly! And you're not happy here are you?”


She frowned, I hated it when she frowned, “I don't know Al. I'm not sure of a lot now.”


“You've got to know he's not the one for you.”


“And you are?”


“We were meant for each other.”


“Don't I get a choice in the matter?”


“What?” I tried to take her in my arms again only to be pushed away, “I don't understand.”


“You act like because you had a shitty time in high school you're entitled to me.” She said, “Do you have any idea how sick that is?”


I paused before answering, “Uh no?”


“Do you know about any of the things that happened to me over the last four years? You don't think I've ever been miserable?”


“You never told me!”


“That's because you can't stop talking about yourself and how much you love me for five goddamn minutes!”


I tried to touch her again, “You're... just upset. We don't have to fight. Hey you know what this is our first fight, it’s kind of a milestone.


“If Jessie knew about this,” Lilly said as she got up off the couch. “It would just kill him.”


“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”


This was the first time I had earned an icy stare from a love interest, sadly it wouldn't the last. She made an exasperated sound, “I think you should go.”


“But…but…”


“Please.”


So I left, what else could I do? As the door closed behind me I asked, “Can I call you?”


Her arms were crossed, “I don’t know.”




*



And over the next few days I did try to call, twice I left messages on the machine. The third time Jessie answered and I adopted a squeaky British accent and told him I what a total blighter I was to have dialed the jolly wrong number. Pip pip cherrio and all that.




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Another great MST3k moment."You wanna pet the lama?"

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy Eight

"I hated being a super hero in the 90's. It was all about image and we were always getting foiled. No one had any perspective."

Friday, July 30, 2010

(Recommended Reads) "Unsung Hero" by Peggy McFarland

Troy watched the seagulls wheel above the ocean, dive for clams, then guard their catches from comrades. With tourist season a memory, the gulls had to work for their meals.

A runt gull burst from the surf with a large shell bulging from its bill. In his peripherals Troy noticed a gray-winged giant intent on the smaller bird's catch. The runt soared above the cottage line, hovered as if measuring the distance. The larger bird took flight. Troy shouted to divert gray-wing's attention, but the bird disregarded him and aimed for the roofline. It swooped in just as the clam crashed on the rooftop and stole the sweet meat. The runt screeched its frustration, but gray-wing ignored the tantrum and flew away. Troy understood gull law; every bird for himself...

click here to read the rest

SHE NEVER SLEPT teases us with the trailer for PICKMAN'S MUSE

(Recommended Reads) "Dogfish" by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith

“Mum, I’m taking the fish for a walk.”
“Okay, but be back in time for dinner.”

When Tommy was five years old, his parents had taken him to a Greek island on holiday. His memories of it were rather vague, consisting mainly of sandcastles built and then promptly destroyed in glee, but one incident was still crystal clear in his mind. They had been sitting in a taverna by the harbour, and a boat with two fishermen had moored a few feet from their table. One of the men had jumped to shore carrying a small shark, harpoon still sticking out of it. On seeing Tommy’s eyes widen, the man smiled at him and lowered the fish so he could take a closer look. He still remembered its intense dark eyes, and how smooth it had been to the touch...


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5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy Seven

The Legion of Protectors had defended Earth from alien cyborgs nine times before but where they ready for the Deus Machina X?

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy Six

With no more lotion to enhance female arousal they tried Vics Vapor Rub. There was a lot of screaming in the bedroom that night.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy Five

He tried to cure nerds of their long-standing fears of gymnasiums by making them smell used sports equipment. It was Jock Therapy.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy Four

It was a shop that specialized in products for women with oversized vaginas but it just couldn't compete with the Big Box Stores.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy Three

A 3rd version of the Time Police had to be created to fix time paradoxes created by the other Time Police repairing time paradoxes.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy Two

Professor Olam and the Silver League vowed to forge the future with steam power and dreams. Neither stayed in fashion long enough.

(Insane News) Pastor Finds Pornography In The Walmart UnderwearDepartment

Underwear packaging reportedly recalled from Walmart after Cullman pastor's complaint

CULLMAN A local pastor's complaint about a brand of underwear being sold with pictures on the packaging at the Cullman Walmart reportedly led to a recall of the product.

Frank Boren, pastor of New Hope Christian Center Church of God in the Springhill community, said he noticed the questionable underwear package while shopping at the store in May.

"I was in there shopping for some underwear one day, and looked at the men’s pictures on the packaging," he said. "On a few of the packages they were very pornographic in the way they were dressed, in skimpy underwear, so I went to the manager and asked her if she thought it was inappropriate to be displayed.."

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

THE LOCAL HEROES: The Way Of The Ninja

The Way Of the Ninja
by
Al Bruno III

The headquarters of Overseas Imports is the tallest structure in River City’s business district. Twenty-four stories high it looms over the stunted, rundown buildings that surround it. At this hour the tower glass and steel is the only source of illumination for several blocks. Its reflection skitters and dances across the surface of the Hallenbeck River.
A masked man dressed in shades of red white and blue scaled the building's sleek, gleaming walls. The handholds he used were imperceptible to normal sight and touch but years of training had left the hero known as the Psychotic Kid with preternaturally sharp senses.
This was the way of the ninja.
The penthouse office was dark. The Psychotic Kid clung to the wall with one hand and traced patterns on the window glass searching for the weakest point.
A breeze shifted him slightly. Hanging by one arm was dangerous even at the best of times and tonight he was more tired and almost blind with anger. The Psychotic Kid ignored these things, he had been taught to ignore exhaustion, pain and the need for regular restroom visits. His body was an instrument of his will and his mind, not a prison for it.
This was the way of the ninja.
Once he had found the weakest point found he tapped it a single time and the glass on the window and the glass pane simply fell away leaving the penthouse exposed to the night air.
Psychotic Kid back flipped into the office and landed on the mahogany desk sending papers flying. He was ready for anything but for a moment the framed motivational posters of kittens and cute sayings confounded him.
“I figured it would be you,” a voice spoke.
“Another witness is dead.” the costumed hero’s voice was a snarl, but then again it was always a snarl, “You think you’re gonna get away with this?”
The lights flickered on. A broad shouldered man glared from across the room; his suit was expensive, his hair dark and thinning. His eyes were bulging and black, each one twitched independently of the other. “I was here in my office the entire time this tragic yet amusing turn of events took place,” he said, “I have witnesses.”
“Oh sure,” Psychotic Kid said. This man always had an alibi but he was responsible nonetheless; Johnny Crawdad practically ran River City these days, “But it was you. I know the truth.”
“The truth?” Crawdad chuckled, “The truth is that no goofball in American flag pajamas is gonna bring me down.”
With a snap of his fingers thugs came streaming out of a hidden doorway looking to Psychotic Kid like a tidal wave of blunt weapons and bad haircuts.
A pair of thugs threw themselves against the desk shoving it out the hole where the window had been but Psychotic Kid had already backflipped away. He had seen their intent in their eyes and read it, read it in the way they had moved.
This was the way of the ninja.
Psychotic Kid came to a stop in the middle of the room. The thugs surrounded him. One swung a blackjack at his head. Another tried to hit him in the kidneys. A third swung a crowbar at the back of his legs.
The hero in red, white and blue twisted in place letting each attack flow around him. One thug fell with an injury to his head. One thug was knocked face first onto the carpet. A third was rocking on the floor clutching his broken knee with his hands. It was as though Psychotic Kid had never been there at all.
This was the way of the ninja.
One of his adversities threw a knife. Psychotic Kid heard the air whistling around the blade and caught it by the tip.
The last two more were coming now, each rushing him from the opposite side.
Still holding the knife Psychotic Kid leapt into the air. The spinning kick brought the first one down, an elbow to the face left the other staggering in place with a dazed expression.
Psychotic Kid pushed him over and rounded on the knife thrower, “Get outta here.”
And he did.
“This doesn’t change anything,” Johnny Crawdad said as he glared at what was left of his best men, “the DA’s got nothing. You Local Heroes got nothing. Nobody in the Shellfish gang is going to prison.”
Psychotic Kid was motionless, “Will too.”
“Yeah, and how many people are you gonna let get killed to do that?” Johnny Crawdad laughed, “Unless you’re willing to be a man and use that knife I’ll always win.”
The costumed crimefighter threw the blade, it crashed through one of the ‘Hang In There!’ posters and buried itself deep in the wall. Psychotic Kid might have been trained to kill but he wouldn’t take a life. That was a vow he would never break.
Johnny Crawdad’s cellphone began to ring.
“Better get that,” Psychotic Kid said.
His black eyes filled with suspicion but he took the call, “Yeah? ...what? ....when?”
“Something wrong?” Psychotic Kid couldn’t have kept the glee from his voice if he wanted to.
“My house is on fire...” the cell phone slipped from Johnny Crawdad’s hand, “...you set my house on fire!”
“I was here in your office the entire time this tragic yet amusing turn of events took place,” Psychotic Kid replied, “I have witnesses.”
Screaming like a madman Johnny Crawdad pulled the revolver from his jacket and fired but the penthouse office was empty.
Riding his grapple line across the street the masked man dressed in shades of red white and blue listened to Johnny Crawdad call him a dirty, sneaky, son of a bitch.
And Psychotic Kid had to laugh for this too was the way of the ninja.

The Trailer For WHO KILLED CAPTAIN ALEX is just a big bucket of WTF

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy One

He spent years as a door to door sponge salesman but then the market dried up.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy

Amazing Ed spent twenty minutes trying to diffuse the bomb before someone told him it was pinata

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Nine

Talking in his sleep had ruined George's marriage but at least he didn't have to be awake to run a kickass Dungeons & Dragons game.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Eight

After she lost both of her arms on the job she was laid off with severance pay.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Seven

The witch doctor promised to curse the mercinaries with the Living Death. Abner Deggent just laughed, he had already been married.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Six

"Your joke was like my sex life," he said, "I don't get it."

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Five

The strain of managing a comic book store drove him mad, you might say he had issues.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Four

The rejection slip said Alfred's prose style was 'too feminine'. Alfred vowed to track the editor down scratch his eyes out.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Three

Captain Renault's grandson became a crazed cannibal, by the time they caught him he had ground up the usual suspects.

PLAID STALLIONS reminds us that growing up in the 1970's wasn't easy.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

HORRORSQUAD shows us the animated short 'A Lovecraft Dream'

It's widely held that much of the inspiration for HP Lovecraft's wackiness are the night terrors that plagued him while he slept. Well, that and unhinged racism, but I digress. . .

 

click here to stop by HORRORSQUAD

(Recommended Webcomic) Hooray! The latest installment of THE SECRET KNOTS is here!

(Insane News) "Finger in Butt Crack Sparks Knife Fight"

According to a police report, the unnamed suspect rubbed a finger along the victim's butt crack, prompting her to clench her buttocks. The victim claimed the clenching caused the bed she was sitting on to break, angering the suspect...

 

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Monday, July 26, 2010

well the teaser trailer for SUCKER PUNCH looks suitably insane...

 

Well i enjoyed 300 so I may like this...

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis chapter seventy four

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis


Chapter Seventy Four


By AL BRUNO III




Saturday, December 4th 1996





It was still snowing at first light. The dawn’s illumination bled through the clouds, up over the tree line and slowly, feebly pushed the stars back towards the horizon. Galen sat on the steps of the snowy gazebo and wished he could have seen the moon if only for a moment.


The temperature was dropping again and soon everything would begin to ice back over. Galen’s t-shirt and jeans were damp with melted snowflakes but he didn’t shiver, he didn’t feel the slightest bit uncomfortable. His kind didn’t need much to survive in tbe wild- he could leave right now if he wanted to and be miles away before the sun set again.


But was that what he wanted? Was that what he was really out here preparing himself to do? Or was he just watching the skies and waiting for Isobel to return?


Galen had been taught that the High-Born Vlodek had been baptized by the light of the moon- but he never truly believed it. Ever since he had been old enough to talk he had been old enough to doubt the legends and sacraments of his people. He would ask how the Vlodek could have been born of man, beast and moonlight but all that ever earned him was a scolding or worse.


When he wondered aloud how the act of one brother slaying another countless centuries ago could have turned the Vlodek into two separate bloodlines- the High Born and the Common Born- he was told to accept it as a matter of faith. He was told that the Common-Born’s ability to become nothing more than beasts marked them as the descendants of a traitor.


He thought of those beasts pictured on the wall of the great house, those pale and spindly shapes that could slay dozens of lesser beings before being brought down. He thought of seeing his father’s body twist into that third, most blessed form and then move with insect-like grace and speed. It was easy after seeing that to believe his people had a touch of the divine. but Galen never had.


He looked from the sky to his hands, to the delicate fingers and pink flesh that was ultimately nothing more than a disguise. With just a thought he could make it change into something that was not quite a fist and not quite a claw. Even when he looked like a human being he was physically stronger and had far sharper senses but when he became a beast all that doubled. His weaknesses doubled as well but that was what the third form- the sacred Myrmidon shape- was for.


It was a moment of celebration when the great change came a High Born in adolescent when they sloughed off their old skin and became something greater than they had before..


Alone and sitting on the steps of the gazebo Galen clenched and unclenched his hands. The Myrmidon form came easily more easily after that first painful transformation but it came to each High Born in time.


Save for a cursed few.


They were called throwbacks. Their place in the Vlodek society was less than the Common Born, even less that the half breeds.


There were no exceptions to this, even if you were the first born of a royal line.


Years later Galen still felt the ache of being an outcast, of being passed over in favor of a brother half his age.


They all turned their back on him, even his mother. She was shamed by his very existence, because of him her honor had been called into question. Was he the child of another father? Had she lain with a Common Born? Or worse yet a human?


The sky was brightening. There was a scrap of paper in his pocket, one of Isobel’s drawings. Galen drew it out, unfolded it, stared at it. It was a sketch of him but she had given his features a trace of nobility that he had never seen in his own reflection.


After being called bastard and throwback, treason came easily. He had always been clever and he had learned secrets years ahead of when he would have been allowed. Using that knowledge he made a deal with the Monarchs. They would shatter the old order, they would make the Vlodek bend to their will and Galen would take his rightful place as the lord of his people.


The cost didn’t worry him. What were a few Torweigs in the scheme of things? How many holes in the world did the Vlodek need?


Snowflakes settled on the paper darkening it, he smudged a bit of the drawing it with his thumb.


Galen had expected there to be some deaths when he brought the power of the Monarchs to bear against the High Born families. He had expected the old guard to resist but he had been sure the younger generation most would put pragmatism ahead of honor.


But they resisted, they all resisted with such fury that the Monarchs responded with wholesale slaughter and suddenly Galen found himself the ruler of a dying people. Common Born and High Born were slaughtered until only handful were left.


Horror and guilt set him running, he turned his back on the genocide he had created, taking his knowledge of the remaining Torweigs with him.


And the Monarchs in their hunger and greed had pursued him.


Stand or run, those were the only choices he was left with and he had been running so long he wasn’t sure he knew how to do anything else. Galen crumpled the paper and threw it into the forest.











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