...I guess I'm... LEFT BEHIND!!!!!!
...In the city of New York the summer of 1910 was signalized by the dismantling of the Elevated Railroads. The summer of 1911 will live in the memories of New York people for many a cycle; the Dodge statue was removed in that year. In the following winter began the agitation for the repeal of the laws prohibiting suicide which bore its final fruit in the month of April, 1920, when the first Government Lethal Chamber was opened on Washington Square....
If I did that I would have to use a baby grand...
(Also the one judge is a total hottie...)
...because I went even more nuts over the return of DOCTOR WHO. I just didn't make a video record of it.
Hagen, a regular on the 1960s TV adventure show Daktari, passed away on 7 May (11) in Brentwood, California after a battle with prostate cancer....
Sad news found via FARK.com
My History professor used to say that the one strange quirk about Americans was that many of us believe that passing a law against something will make it go away. Why can't we just leave gay people alone and worry about feeding the hungry or getting TWIN PEAKS back on the air?
In 2006, Stamford resident Guita Sazan Silverstein made the incredible decision to leave her two-year-old son in her car on a hot summer day while she did some shopping -- because as we all know bad things only happen to poor children that nobody cares about. When she returned, she was horrified to discover that she had locked herself out of the car and couldn't get in. With the temperature at 88 degrees, her child was at serious risk of heat stroke.
Article found via FARK.com and the DAILY NEWS
Warren Talbot vs The Pretty Boys... again
(an excerpt from the upcoming serial novel IN BLOOM)
Al Bruno III
Warren barreled through the wooded campus of the Blessed Heart School. Dodging off the well-worn paths used by students and crashing though the flowering shrubs and evergreen trees. His white dress shirt was smeared with chips of eggshell and spattered with yolk. His whole body felt like it might give out at any moment, but he had to keep running.
They were still after him. He could hear them at his back, shouting and laughing. His only hope now was at the old chapel.
He’d finished his finals with a glow of accomplishment, knowing that despite all the social and physical setbacks he’d suffered this he was ending his Freshman year on a high note. A’s on everything but gym, but even the gym teacher had given him a B- for effort and attendance. He knew that once his grades arrived his father would be sick with pride.
But the Pretty Boys had taken all that away from him, they’d turned him back into an obese loser with a single volley of rancid eggs.
“Almost there.” He panted, “Almost there.”
His lungs were on fire now, it was worse than when the gym teacher had made the class try out cross-country running. He saw the feeble-looking sycamores that ringed the old chapel and its cemetery and pushed himself to go just a little bit farther.
The Blessed Heart School had acres of land. Most of it was left to grow wild but a small section near the gymnasium had been divided into a quartet of athletic fields. The last field bordered a cemetery of all things, fifty modest graves for nuns that had worked and died here in the early part of the century. A small disused chapel slouched in the furthest corner of the cemetery. It rotted quietly, a haven for small animals and a good place for students sneaking away for a drink or a smoke.
"Let him be here. Please let him be here!"
He crossed the cemetery with nightmarish slowness the Pretty Boys yowling at his back. He would have cried out but he had no breath left.
There was a flash of pain as Warren’s foot smacked into a loose section of pavement. He fell hard, concrete raking his hands, a ripping sound filling his ears. Another pair of pants shot to Hell.
And suddenly they were on him, pelting him with jeers and fistfuls of eggs. The Pretty Boys, with their perfect pedigrees and their slender waistlines- Bobby Hilton, Kenny Wurman, Evan Crawford and their leader, the biggest jerk of all, Tristam Bloom.
“Fuckers!” Warren screamed tearfully.
“Hey look!” Tristam said, “Tubbo’s crying.”
Kenny threw his last egg, “Look his pants split right up the back!”
“I say we strip him,” Tristam drew closer, reveling in the way he cowered, “Leave him here in his undershorts.”
“Strip him?” Adelphos strode out of the shelter of the decrepit chapel, a cigarette hanging out of his lips. His navy blue tie was loosened, a gold cross hung around his neck. “You cabrones always call us fags but you get up to the freakiest stuff all on your own.
“Oh shit.” Kenny blanched, “Psycho.”
Adelphos pitched his cigarette at Bobby Hilton, who dodged it with a yelp “You assholes got nothing better to do than start shit?”
Warren almost sobbed with relief. Tristam’s grin widened, “Smoking on school grounds Psycho? That can get you expelled.”
“Fuckin’ with my friends can get you in traction,” he stepped between the Pretty Boys and Warren.
The other boys looked like they wanted to back off, but Tristam kept them in place with a stare, “If I were you I’d watch my mouth, it’s four against one here.”
Scraping the worst of the tears and yolk from his face Warren stood beside Adelphos, “Four against two.”
The Pretty Boys had a good laugh at this. Evan called, “If we count your ass cheeks the odds are even Tubbo.”
Adelphos shook his head, “Just get lost, playtime’s over children.”
“You don’t tell me where to go,” Tristam advanced, “I tell people like you where to go.”
“Oh really?” Adelphos stood his ground, his posture casual.
“You really think you can take all four of us on... Spic?” Tristam gestured to the others, they stepped up behind him.
“We’re not afraid of you.” Warren glanced to Adelphos, “Right?”
Tristam backhanded Warren, the slap echoing.
Warren reeled, almost falling over and then catching himself.
“That was a mistake.” Adelphos lashed out, his fist catching Tristam in the gut. Bobby and Kenny held back but Evan threw himself at Adelphos in a classic football tackle.
Too stunned to do anything but watch the scuffle going on at his feet Warren didn’t even see Bobby coming for him and the first punch landed squarely on his nose.
“Yeah!” Kenny jumped in place, “Get ‘em!”
Evan was screeching, Adelphos had him by the balls. Tristam was curled into a ball. Warren took a swing at Bobby but it went wild barely brushing his cheek. Bobby hit him in the chest but Warren barely felt it.
“Tubbo swings like a girl!” Kenny was laughing again.
The screeching had become begging, Evan’s hands scrabbling at the clenching fist. Adelphos he let go. He let Evan breathe a sigh of relief, then he kicked him.
Warren’s second punch went even wider, missing Bobby entirely and catching Kenny dead center in his forehead. Kenny went down with a yelp. Warren stared after him in amazement. Adelphos charged past him, grabbing Bobby by his tie and yanking hard, spinning him once in a semi circle and then sending him flying into one of the crumbling headstones.
“Anyone else feeling froggy?” Adelphos was dancing on the balls of his feet like a boxer, he wasn’t even breathing hard.
Cursing, bloodied and dirty the Pretty Boys retreated back the way they had come. Warren didn’t even notice, he was still staring at his fist. He couldn’t stop smiling.
(IN BLOOM begins December 2011)
Munchkin is a trademark of Steve Jackson Games Incorporated, and the art and unique card titles from Munchkin are copyrighted by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated. All rights are reserved by SJ Games.
IN THIS TWILIGHT
By AL BRUNO III
The lanterns were running low, and the boarded windows of the house made the hallways and rooms even darker. One Squonk held her arms down, the other her legs and the third held her head steady with hands on either side of her skull. Her skin crawled at their touch. Which one was it? She wondered morbidly, Who was my first?
Chad had a fresh notebook on his lap, “Just tell me what you see. We’re so close now.”
She tried to turn to look at him but the hands holding her head would not let her, “What if I lie?”
“You won’t. You can’t.”
“Why haven’t the police come searching for me? They must know about this place.”
“How? How would they know?” He scribbled down a few more notes at the bottom of the notebook and turned to a fresh page. Then he placed the book and the pen beside him on the floor, “The only ones that knew were you, Samantha and …What was his name again?”
Chad reached into his pocket and drew out a wad of tin foil, “He was out bright and early delivering his papers.”
“Oh God… Oh my God…” Thelma had thought she had no tears left.
“His neck was broken it was quick.” He unwrapped the foil, the shape inside only tangentially resembled the Eagoryl she had seen before. That sad scrap of flesh had been shriveled and greasy with decay but this was gleaming and pink. It reminded her of a piece of meat that had been freshly filleted.
“You shit. You cocksucker!” She would have cursed more but the Squonk holding her head gave her jawbone a squeeze forcing her mouth open.
“Hush now. It doesn’t matter, he never mattered,” Chad gave the Eagoryl a twist, the veins that threaded through it popped and bled. It was even worse when it was fresh. It tasted like teardrops, blood and death. Waves of revulsion washed over her like a fever, she thought of Laurie, and Samantha and Peanut. She wondered how many souls had been destroyed simply because a monster had passed in their wake.
The room twisted around her, transforming itself into a jumble of sharp angles and clean arcs. When she stared up at Chad she found she could see every pore of his skin, every blemish and wrinkle. A heartbeat later and she could see past the solidity of him to the swirling confusion of matter that made up his physical being.
“Look closely now.” Chad whispered, “Move carefully.”
“You don’t understand.” Thelma said blearily, “You can’t even guess.”
“Then tell me.”
“Jungle and dust…” She tried to bite her lip and keep from talking but she had to, she was sure if she didn’t her head would burst, “I think it’s Africa.”
“There is a war… I think there’s always been a war but this… The atrocities…”
Chad was scribbling again, pausing only to ask, “When is it? Who do you see?”
“Empty classrooms and mass graves… The Hierophant walks… Searching…” Thelma nodded at the familiarity of that yellow cloaked shape, “The sigil is everywhere… You can hear the whispers…”
Chad voice sent the vision scattering like a school of fish, “I can’t make out what you’re saying. I need facts.”
Thelma struggled to speak, “Sierra Leone… It’s there… Waiting ….hidden in one man’s vision… The dismembered harbinger makes four…”
“Four?” Chad said, “There are four?”
“…Delphanos …Bodge Loyar …Eldrad ...Damiea The dark gods are close… They have awakened… Adapted…”
“What about the Hierophant? What about me?”
Thelma laughed, “Again and again you are shown your place in the world, again and again you refuse.”
Hands seized her by the shoulders, drawing her up, setting her head lolling on her shoulders. A few weeks ago Thelma would have been certain that the only expression Chad was capable of was an easygoing smile. To see such desperate rage twisting that grin out of shape and bringing tears to his eyes was a wonder to behold. In the moment before he started violently shaking her she realized she could see a resemblance to the Squonks now, an almost familial resemblance.
“Not again! Not this again!” He screeched, “You’re lying! Why won’t you tell me what you see?”
But Thelma was beyond seeing him, beyond feeling the fury of him thrashing her back and forth until her head was battering the wall with plaster-cracking force. The ringing in her head became a roomful of voices all talking at once. Only two of the voices were familiar yet she knew them all- her sister Oracles; Laurie, Samantha, Adrienne, Nikki, Jeannie and so many others. Each one was so different from the last but they all shared a single final vision.
“My Principals find you wanting and of limited use because you believe that destiny is a river whose course can be changed. Your desires mean nothing to the future.” She shouted through rattling teeth, “You talk of oblivion but only in the future tense. You have glimpsed the Ruins of Creation but refuse to understand.”
Chad threw Thelma to the floor and sent the Squonks scurrying to the other side of the room. He grabbed her by the throat, watching her gasp and choke as he rained curses down on her.
…flesh and matter lose all meaning; reality peels away and becomes translucent. The Spaces Between loom, they are the eternities that span the silence between each tick of the clock and the yawning void that sprawls in the distance between one molecule and the next.
It is here that the very Ruins of Creation become visible, those impossible engines choked into stillness by the weight of eternity. Their once gleaming surfaces are now pitted and stained with time; the swollen hydrozoa-like shapes of the dead drift across their worn surfaces.
Little more than mindless husks, these soul-remnants grasp at each other and nothing. A current of unfamiliar longings and impossible memories carries them through realms of mystery, nightmare and entropy…
The tin foil fell to the floor. Chad held the Eagoryl in his free hand. Thelma’s breaths had become gurgling gasps, her tongue lolled out of her mouth. “You’ll tell me damn you!” He squeezed the scrap of flesh with such force that it tore open in a dozen places and quivered like a living thing. The foul tasting fluid spilled into Thelma’s mouth and up her nose but she was beyond noticing.
…the realms brim with possibilities and secrets, with fractured landscapes and four dimensional vistas. Each waits patiently for the right words to be spoken or the right pattern to be walked so they might be unlocked…
Price Breaks and Heartaches
A journal of retail and failed romance
Foreplay On The Edge Of Forever
I had hoped to work in a date or two with Ramona during semester break but she had gone home for the holidays. The earrings I had bought for her were still in my glove compartment, waiting.
At least that gave me more time to work at Paper Shredder, after all disposable income didn’t grow on trees.
It didn't take long for word to get out about the Paper Shredder's Copy Center. It wasn't just our helpful staff and competitive rates that got us noticed by the hoi polloi. It was also our company's complete ignorance of the copyright law and the capacities of your standard late 80’s model copy machine.
It was a Tuesday afternoon and I was happily shelving books when I heard Tallulah say, “You want me to WHAT?”
Lord how I had longed for her to say that to me, hopefully when we were both naked and on a toboggan.
Curious I made my way to the back of the store and saw her arguing with a scruffy looking kid about our age. Apparently he wanted to have us copy each page of an economics textbook. He explained that it was cheaper than actually buying one.
I guess an economics student would be the one to know.
An order like that was bad enough, taking at least 8 hours of uninterrupted work and trust me you never had 8 hours of uninterrupted work at the Paper Shredder's Copy Center. Tallulah waved me over. The expression on her face was growing more and more sour with every second.
When the scruffy fellow had left I asked, “Hey. How have you been?”
“I need some help,” She ushered me back into the Copy Center, “I'm printing some presentation binders for some Mary Kay thing and they've got to be done by tomorrow morning. And I've got some Church flyers to print up. And now I've got this.”
I offered her my most reassuring smile, “Well the nice thing about being busy is it makes the day go by faster.”
“Don't make me slap you.”
I said, “I could help.”
“Thanks, you copy that idiot's textbook on copier two and I'll try to get these presentations ready.”
For the next hour or so it was place the odd page on the glass, press copy, flip the book, place the even page on the glass, press copy and repeat. I kept myself occupied with making plans for my latest book. I wanted it to be a horror novel about group of modern day Dungeons & Dragons players that discover a real life dragon living under the streets of Albany. The man character was based on me, except he was a little taller, a little richer and he always knew the right thing to say.
Of course the main stumbling block for me was that I honestly had no idea how a group of modern day Dungeons & Dragons players would kill a real life dragon, so the manuscript, the protagonists and I were pretty much meandering around at this point.
I mean how would you do it? Explosives? Poisoned sheep? Exploding poisoned sheep?
Tallulah's voice startled me from my thoughts of sheep, it wouldn’t be the first time, “How was your play?”
“You know ...your play?”
“Oh.” I nodded, “It went pretty good really.”
“You're kinda sweet on that girl you acted with aren't you?”
“And how would you know that?” I smiled a little.
“A girl knows, just like I know Marvin's girlfriend is hot for you.”
“What?” I made a blurred photocopy in shock, even now I wonder if it impacted the scruffy kid's GPA, “You mean Joanna? Oh my God, she's just... you must be kidding.”
“Her eyes follow you around the room,” Tallulah said.
“Well,” I said, “she isn’t the first girl to find herself woozy with desire for me.”
(Actually she probably was.)
One of the copiers ran out of toner and Tallulah took a few minutes to refill it. Meanwhile I helped an older gentleman look over some Cross fountain pens. He had several expensive models picked out but when he learned that Paper Shredder offered no senior citizen discounts he stormed out.
“You know,” I said as I returned to photocopying the textbook, “I would love to have one of those expensive Cross pens but I don’t think I’m going to treat myself to one until I get one of my novels published.”
She asked, “How long do you thinkit will take?”
“Maybe a year or two?” I said, “I mean look at all those crappy books out there on the shelves. Somebody’s got to be writing them. I mean why not me? I’m just as crappy as the next writer. What do you say?”
“SON OF A BITCH PAPER JAM!” She slammed her fist into the side of the copier and then got to work pulling crumpled sheets of half-printed, burnt-smelling paper out of different parts of the machine.
“Make sure you don’t let the auto sort throw off the collate.” I suggested. It was fifteen minutes to closing and there was no way either of us was going to finish our respective projects in time. As for the book department, it was on its own. “It loves to do that after a good jam.”
“And it always does it after you reload the toner.” She said, “Are you sure this beats flipping burgers?”
“Oh God yes.” I replied, “Except I didn’t so much flip burgers as retrieve them from a steam chute.”
“Al?” She said suddenly, “I think I made a mistake.”
That was the kind of thing you never wanted to hear in context to a big order. A lot of the customers just didn’t understand that we weren’t a print shop and if there was one mis-ordered page or slightly crooked copy they could be as unforgiving as the returns policy at a dildo shop.
I walked over to see if I could help her, there was a shaky vulnerability in her voice I wasn’t used to hearing, “What’s up?”
“My boyfriend…” She drew in a breath.
She shrugged as she restarted the main copier, we both braced for a fresh error light or cloud of toner but everything started working smoothly. “I don't know.” Tallulah said, “That first night was great but then after we made love he immediately asked to borrow my car so he could get some cigarettes.”
“That doesn't sound so bad.”
“Al that was a week ago.”
“Oh.” I said, “That's awful. You deserve a lot better.”
“Do I still deserve you?”
I don't know what throbbed faster in response to her words; my heart, my loins or my ego. “Do you mean that?”
An economics textbook clattered to the floor, an error light went unnoticed and a few days from now an entire group of Mary Kay trainees would be lacking critical eyeliner data. Tallulah and I moved closer to each other with sweet familiarity. “Do you think we could start over again?” She asked, “From the beginning?”
“Well...” I took her hand in mine, “just so long as we can skip over the part where I almost had sex with your beltloop.”
“Actually that was your own beltloop.”
“Oh God, that's even worse.”