Saturday, September 18, 2010

Roadside Velvet part six

Price Breaks and Heartaches

A journal of retail and failed romance

Chapter Four

Roadside Velvet

part six




As the days went by I became groggier and groggier. It didn’t matter that after an entire day of begging I got Paul to switch me into a room with two beds because I was still sharing that room with Conrad and that was more than enough to break even the strongest man’s spirit.


While it was true that having a room with a double bed saved me with the choice between sleeping in a motel room bathtub or risking involuntary spooning there were still other problems. First of all there were Conrad’s night terrors, at least once a night he would wake up sobbing and disoriented. Which meant that at least once a night I was left weighing the pros and cons of committing assault and/or manslaughter.


But that wasn’t all I had to deal with. Conrad kept wanting to talk with me about his life, his family and his self-created tragedies. He would wait until I was just starting to fall asleep and then he would start whining. I kept my conversations with him brief and polite, after all I to share a room with him and I was worried that if I made him cry his brothers wouldn’t bother to weigh the pros and cons of assault and/or manslaughter.


*


Business was booming and my consciousness was failing. My eyes felt raw and my nerves were jangled. Athena and I handled the cash, Lonnie kept the inventory moving so that none of our displays were empty for long, Conrad kept busy dusting the pictures. There was no sign of our boss Paul DeSanti, he had borrowed my car to scout for new locations.


There was a radio with a cassette deck, the song ‘Louie Louie’ played as we toiled.


“Thank you again sir!” Athena said as she handed a sleezy-looking man his change. He walked away with a velvet painting that was equal parts cheesecake and degradation.


I asked Athena “Is that the last of Lesbians In Repose?”


“Yeah.” She turned and called back into the truck, “Hey Lonnie! I need five more hoochie koochie pictures and one baby Jesus swaddled in an American flag.”


“I don’t know much about art,” I commented, “and I don’t know about this stuff either.”


Athena smiled, “You need to study sociology when you get to college. This is what America is all about right here- consumerism, patriotism, religion and lust.”


“You think so?” I scratched my unshaven chin thoughtfully, “Tell me more about the lust part.”


“Excuse me,” a man in a three piece suit approached us, “do you have any dogs playing poker?”


“Of course,” I replied, “what breeds would you like?”


Another car pulled up and a pair of men in overalls began to browse, there was a pregnant woman with enough kids to have qualified for a reality show and the sleazy-looking guy was back. The song ‘Louie Louie’ drew to a close, and then began again in a slightly different cadence.


This was a sixty minute all ‘Louie Louie’ mix tape. After the second hour of it I would have begged to hear something else but the tape was Lonnie’s and I didn’t have the nerve.


Or the health insurance.


Lonnie sang as he worked, “Fine little girl waits for me... Get your thrills across the way... girl I dream of is all alone... every night I slip her the bone...


“How can you take this?” I asked Athena.


“Oh I just tune him out,” she said, “the walls in the dorm are paper thin so you always have to listen to people partying or screwing around while your trying to study.”


“Really?”


“Oh sure,” she gave me a wry look, “everyone gets laid in college.”


“They say the same thing about the senior prom,” I grinned back but neglected to mention that I was the exception that proved that rule. My prom had been nothing more than a case of blue balls in a black tux.


“Excuse me? Can I get some help?” the sleazy-looking guy called, “Hey honey! Over here!”


“You mean me?” I asked.


“Christ no!”


...tonight at ten I’ll lay her again...” Lonnie warbled on, “We’ll fuck your girl and by the way... And on that chair I’ll lay her there... I felt my boner in her hair...


“Felt my boner in her hair?” I suddenly shouted, “Lonnie what the Hell are you singing?”


He regarded me with confusion, “‘Louie Louie’.”


“Those are not,” I tried to sound reasonable, “the lyrics for the song.”


“Yes they are.”


“Listen my Dad is a musician, I couldn’t not know these things,” I explained, “it goes like this- Louie Louie, me gotta go... Me see Jamaican moon above... It won’t be long before me see my love... Me take her in my arms and then... I tell her I never leave again...


“Wow,” Conrad turned away from his dusting, “you call that singing?”


“In the Shatnerian sense.” I looked for Athena so she could back me up on this but she was still talking to the sleazy-guy.


“And those aren’t the lyrics Al,” Conrad sneered, “they’re too corny.”


“All right then mister,” and when it came to Conrad I used the term ‘Mister’ loosely, “you tell me what they are.”


“Uhmmmm....”


“Well?” I said with my hands on my hips.


Conrad’s singing voice sounded like breaking glass, “Looweeloowhy ono saddat we gowow... yey yeh yeh yeh...


I slapped my forehead, “Oh for the love of Colin Baker.”


“I like it the way I was singing it,” Lonnie said menacingly.


We were so busy arguing that we didn’t realize that the sleazy-guy was standing awfully close to Athena. He was holding his left and right fingers about twelve inches apart and we would later find out that he wasn’t describing the size of the picture frame he wanted.


“I’m not sure I could do that...” Athena said, her voice rising with each word, “we’re pretty busy and the guys really need my HEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLP!”


We all looked over, the great ‘Louie Louie’ debate forgotten. Now the guy was trying to run his hand along her upper arm.


At that moment Lonnie, Conrad and I moved as one to protect her. The sleazy guy turned his head and saw what must have looked like an impending attack from the Frankenstein Monster, Paul Lynde and Lou Costello.


Once we had run the guy off Athena gave each of us a big hug, “My heroes.”


In retrospect I realize now that if I had paid attention to the lesson of this day I might have stayed a hero in her mind.


Or at the very least a friend.


But more on that later.










Click Here To Continue

THE CHEAP BIN reminds me why I used to rent the movie 'ANGEL EYES' every week!

-I regret the lack of screen-caps for this review, 'cause man, there would have been some doozies. But my computer simply refused to play this DVD for some reason (perhaps plain ol' fashioned good judgment? I dunno)... anyway, just take my word for it... It goes a little something like this...


Some random old biddy gets herself all stabbed up by a mysterious, kitchen knife-wielding assailant while hanging her laundry out to dry.
"I said use fabric softener sheets next time, bitch!!" Stabstabstabstab...

sexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsex

John Phillip Law engages in tepid intercourse with some broad who has a superbly-crafted fake chest.

sexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsex...

Click here to read the rest

(something makes me want to buy this DVD... two somethings in fact)

The trailer for PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 has me interested...

Friday, September 17, 2010

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Six Hundred and Five

No one liked Freud-Man's battle cry of “Your Mother”!

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Six Hundred and Four

When the voters elect a politician obsessed with masturbation they're going to have a mess on their hands.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Six Hundred and Three

He always wanted to be a time traveler that dream came true as he grew older he found a year passed in what seemed like months.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Six Hundred and Two

The super villain Pink-Eye could shoot sticky webbing from his oversized tear ducts and had a mucus healing factor.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Six Hundred and One

A demon attacked the public pool, terrified swimmers soiled themselves and were caught between the devil and the deep blue pee.

TOPLESS ROBOT Presents The 25 Greatest Wacky Packages Cards

Thursday, September 16, 2010

(an excerpt from In The Shadow Of His Nemesis) Where The Streets Have No Name

The following is a condensed chapter from my serial novel but it is enjoyable as a stand alone piece.

______________________________________________________________________

Where The Streets Have No Name

(an excerpt for In The Shadow Of His Nemesis)

by


Al Bruno III




She wore a peasant blouse and a loose fitting skirt. Her hair was long and pulled back into a ponytail. There were tiny bells on the silver anklet she wore; they jingled wildly as she ran for her life.


The streets she ran down were empty and unnamed, the buildings and storefronts were vacant. The dust and grime of years covered everything. It caught in her nose and clung to the bottoms of her sandal-clad feet.


Her heart pounded in her chest, her breaths were gasps. She could hear the sound of her pursuers but she wouldn’t dare look back, if she looked back she knew all would be lost.


Benjamin Zachary! she thought. Where the Hell are you?


There was an intersection up ahead- left, right or straight ahead. Where was he? Which way was she supposed to go?


Not that it mattered here in the town of Devsham where every road looped back onto itself again. If I die here… She wondered to herself, If I die in a place that doesn’t exist in maps or memories- will my fravashi find me?


In that moment of fear she almost looked back but stopped herself, wasn’t hearing the mewling buzz of their voices enough? Did she really need to see those dead, segmented eyes a second time?


She cursed herself for agreeing with Benjamin’s plan. Sure split up the party, what could possibly go wrong in an empty town?


Then her sandal caught on the sidewalk and she fell hitting the ground with a gasp and a curse.


“Rio! This way!”


A man called to her to her from a nearby alleyway, jumping up and down and waving his arms. He was short with eyes and hair that were equal parts dark and wild. He wore a thick mustache and a small earring.


“Come on!” Benjamin Zachary urged her, he wore faded jeans and a collared shirt with a tweed blazer “Get up! Hurry.”


But he didn’t come to her rescue; he had long ago warned that her life was expendable to the Cause- his was not. Pushing herself to her feet Rio blundered across the street and into his arms.


“There we go,” he said. “I knew you’d make it. Now let’s get off the street shall we?”


Her pursuers were getting closer, each of them breaking into a run He dragged her into a nearby building and let her slide to the floor while he erected a barricade. It looked like they were in an office of some sort, Rio watched him stack chairs and wondered what kind of work would have been done here- what the Monarchs would possibly need file cabinets and telephones for?


Rubbing her ankle she gave Benjamin a worried glance, “Where were you?”


“I was fine. You’re the one that keeps getting in trouble.”


Rio winced, “That’s not fair.”


“I’m not the one that activated the automated defenses. Luckily I anticipated your mistakes.”


The pounding on the door began; if she closed her eyes she could imagine the legion of tarsal claws striking it. “What do we do now?”


He gave her a wicked grin, “Exploration with a side order of sabotage.”


“We’re gonna get killed,” she said, “or worse.”


“Not me.”


There was a large cracking sound, the turned back to see a blunt beak working its way through the wood of the door, a keening whistle filled the air as a handful of proboscis slithered out testing the air. Benjamin Zachary stared at it in dull confusion, “That’s new.”


“We have to get out of here.”


“Oh yes,” He took her by the hand and led her deeper into the building. “Come along now.”


“Where are we going?”


“Downstairs.”


“Do you know where we’re going?”


“I know what I’m doing,” he said.


Several breathless flights of stairs later Rio let herself be dragged into a wide, vault-like room that smelled of chemicals and brine. Pale lights flickered in as they entered, revealing pale pale floors with silver trim. Covered troughs lined the walls.


Benjamin walked over to one of the troughs; it was three feet deep and set into the wall at waist height. A thick layer of frosted glass covered it. A metal clasp held the lid locked in place. He smiled grimly, “Now are these to keep people out or the contents in?”


“What’s in them?” Rio asked.


“Nothing yet. I’m here early,” Benjamin rapped a knuckle on the wall beside them producing a thick, yet hollow sound.


Rio saw that the entire wall was made from a thick glass-like material but all she could see through it was darkness. Were they underground and was this was some window into the Earth?


Once she pressed her face against the glass and cupped her hands over her eyes she saw there was a room on the other side of this glass, it looked huge and bottomless.


Benjamin led her away, “Quite the nursery isn’t it?”


“What are we doing here?”


“Furthering the Cause at best,” he made a show of waving his empty hands in front of her face, a swish of the fingers and suddenly he was holding a handful of gems- white rubies. “Thumbing our noses at the future at worst.”


“An incantation?” Rio asked, “Here?”


“You thought we were sightseeing?” Benjamin held the largest of the rubies between his thumb and forefinger and sat cross-legged on the floor, “Now go wait by the door, I have to concentrate.”


Rio bristled, how could he be so dismissive of her? Always treating her like she was stupid during the day and then coming to her bed at night with guilty eyes and quiet promises.


Of course none of those promises were for the future.


There was a muffled bang followed by a chorus of insectile screeches.


Benjamin Zachary looked up from staring into the heart of the gemstone, “That will be Zeth now…”



____________________________________________________________________


To read more of the story click here!


PLAID STALLIONS brings us the unspeakable horror of 70's underwear

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Six Hundred

He wasn't the first attendee of the All Gay Rodeo to go home with some new chaps.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety Nine

Jack won the goldfish swallowing contest but the goldfish won the 'kill a guy by blocking his sphincter' contest.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety Eight

Everyone knows you shouldn't bring a knife to a gunfight but there is a similar rule about bringing hamsters to cockfights.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety Seven

He was making love to a girl from Helskinki but didn't finish.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety Six

“And if you press the button on 'IT Department Barbie' she takes a call and pulls some of her hair out!”

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety Five

Studying the sanity-blasting tome known as the Necromonicon prepared him for the job of being Sarah Palin's official proofreader.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety Four

High on LSD the actor wandered the village green waving homemade weapons, he listed it on his resume as Shakes spear in the park.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety Three

When he was a young man he considered himself a 'Love Machine' as he got older he started having problems with his nuts.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety Two

They pulled him from the doughnut machine but he had a glazed look in his eyes.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety One

Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world- but that's the Rapture for you.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety

A dozen prostitutes showed up at the congressman's office and he realized he should have proofread that add for 'poll takers'.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Eighty Nine

Everyone in marketing was fired because someone should have realized that 'Sugar Frosted Cornholes' was no name for a cereal.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Eighty Eight

When making love his piercings scraped against hers as they grew older and removed them their relationship lost its spark.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Eighty Seven

Prostitutes facing equipment difficulties frequently contact Trick Support.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Eighty Six

He went to the nude barbecue hoping to feast his eyes on a feminine smorgasbord but all he got as a load of burnt sausages.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Eighty Five

He was only a member of the priesthood for a few days before he quit. Call it friars remorse.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Eighty Four

“Oh I found the Yellow Sign,” Jason Magwier said, “but it clashed with the room.”

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Eighty Three

Part of the strippers union's plans for greater social acceptance involved them helping design womens' Halloween costumes.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Eighty Two

The teenage leper felt a lot of his time in the bathroom flaking off.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Eighty One

The makers of the male enhancement drug bribed the members of the court with their product creating a hung jury.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Eighty

Jeremy Deadslayer knew how to kill regular zombies and fast zombies but he didn't know beans about farting zombies.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Seventy Nine

Fuego's bitterest rival was Braka Besatta but he supposed he might be bitter too if he were the only Luchador in Sweden.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Seventy Eight

Ellen put the call on hold and said, “Anyone that says war is Hell has never worked in tech support.”

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Five Hundred and Seventy Seven

If voters elect the President they'd most like to have a beer with they should expect to find themselves in a world of Schlitz.

PLAID STALLIONS invites us to the manliest day at the beach ever....

Monday, September 13, 2010

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis chapter eighty one

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis


Chapter Eighty One


By AL BRUNO III




Saturday, December 4th 1996





Hao was waiting for them in a stolen car. Isobel and Zeth piled in and they sped off leaving fire and bodies in their wake. They drove out of Windam passing by a trio of emergency vehicles. Isobel sank down in her seat as they shrieked past but then felt ridiculous for having done so.


“See anything yet?” Hao asked.


“Nothing promising,” Zeth replied, “head towards the mountains.”


Now what are they talking about? Isobel wondered.


But she was more concerned with Galen and the others at Laurel House. This whole thing had been a trap. They had been betrayed from within- by Bodivar if Hao was to be believed. The Monarchs had used Thompson’s Pharmacy to slowly poison Angie.


Why poison her? To trick Laurel House’s most dangerous residents into leaving on a mission of mercy.


The two most dangerous residents and me, Isobel thought. She knew Zeth was deadly with a gun but she was curious what there was about Hao that worried the likes of Mr. Suano and Ms. Ginnmett.


The car fishtailed and then righted itself. The darkskinned woman asked again, “What about now?”


Zeth growled with annoyance, “When I see something I’ll tell you.”


What is Galen doing now? Is he running again? Is Warren safe? Isobel felt sick to her stomach, if there had been any food in it she might have thrown up.


Another firetruck sped past. Had the fire spread? Were innocent people coming to harm? Is it my fault? The thought was as familiar as it was terrible. Is all this because I picked up a stranger on the side of the road?


Of course it is.


If she had just driven around Galen none of this would have happened. She would still be moving through her miserable and safe existence, her brother’s friends would still be alive, her brother’s hands wouldn’t hurt to look at and Cheryl...


What have they done to Cheryl?


“There!” Zeth’s voice was an excited whisper. The stolen car skidded to a halt.


Hao was out of the car before it stopped moving, she pulled Isobel roughly out of the back seat. There were more sirens coming.


The three of them ran across the road, Zeth urged them on. Isobel tried to understand where they were going but all she saw was more snow and trees.


Then Zeth began to sing, his voice was deep and powerful but the words it filled the air with were nonsense to Isobel’s ears.


No. Not nonsense. She realized. This is magic


Hao’s hand tightened around hers. “Don’t be afraid,” she said.


The world seemed to bend away from them as they ran, contorting and refracting like funhouse mirrors. Isobel tried to speak but there was no air for her to draw in. She felt like she was falling, she felt like she was falling through the world.




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