I'll come up with something in a minute.

Advertizements of the Damned!

I will take you away from all this.

This advertisement for Cheer Detergent chronicles one woman’s decent into madness. Our protagonist, let’s call her Suzy Jenkins, is seeing her kids out the door. She examines her children as they leave, not to see that the children themselves are alright, but to examine their clothes. She grabs each child by their shoulders and turns them to look at their shirts. A Dune like internal monologue informs us that the little girl’s white clothes were cleaned with a hot water wash. This is regarded as being just “okay” while the boy, dressed in a red shirt is different. His red shirt was given a cold-water wash, which we’re told is “pretty clean” as she barely even recognizes the fact that he tries to kiss her. His kiss instead lands unrewarded and unrecognized on her cheek, despite the fact that he just wanted to get a moment of love from this cold beast. As the door closes, she stands and declares “Aww, they didn’t look that good!” and then walks to the middle of the room and asks “When can I stop kidding myself?” While one presumes she’s about to go on and say “I don’t love them, I hate their father, my life is a lie!” she’s instead interrupted by a Mr. Spock knock off who beams in and introduces her to All Temperature Cheer. At least, that’s what she sees, we know this to be madness though, since Spok is hardly going to show up just to give her a box of laundry soap available at any Piggly Wiggly. No, she’s imagined this to break her day up, if only a little. He then explains how Cheer cleans in all temperatures. Instead of begging him to take her with him, which is what a younger her would have wanted, her madness demands she stay here and marvel over the clean clothes. One presumes that, having spent so much energy on the clothes she’ll slaughter the family the next time they so much as get their clothes dusty. If you look here, you can see the murderous look of madness. The world isn’t perfect, and she’ll make them pay. Watch the ad and see if I’m wrong.

Don’t leave her alone with the children!


October 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Eighteen)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay


Last week’s entry can be found here. 


Chapter Eighteen: Out on the Ledge.


            I started out the window and took a look at the young girl shivering and crying in the wind. Years ago, someone begged me to save their little girl who had done something similar. She hadn’t jumped so much as leaned forward and landed head first onto a ’99 Buick LeSabre. I didn’t see a Buick below me, but I wasn’t really concerned about that part of history repeating so much as the falling part.


            Cindy stood naked on the ledge, tears running down her face. The ledge seemed to be about half an inch wide, but we were both able to stand on it. Her blood shot eyes turned to me, the tears caught the light as she shifted and they seemed to glisten as if for a camera. There was just me and her up here though; here we were alone. I looked behind me at the three guys watching, which is nice. It’s good to have witnesses at a time like this. They certainly shouldn’t have tried to come out and help me. Naked girls are something for straight men to deal with after all. I wouldn’t want them to touch her and realize how nice girls are or anything.


            “Save the life of my child,” those words rattled through my head again, from all those years ago. “What’s becoming of the children?”


            “Hi Cindy,” I said as I put my back against the wall and smiled at her the best I could.


            “Please,” was all she could manage at the moment.


            “Come on,” I said working my way out onto the ledge. “Come back in.”


            “You know,” she said, tears pouring down her face. “I’m sorry.”


            “It’s okay,” I said, “just don’t go.”


            “All my walls are crumbling down,” she said looking down at the assembled crowd. “Can’t you see my walls are crumbling? I’ve got no defenses left.”


            “I think I see that,” I said. “Why don’t you work your way back toward me?”


            “You should try to take a shot,” She said, free associating now. “You could be my man and you could protect me.”


            Those words rang nasty bells in my head, but as she was naked and on a ledge she probably wasn’t going to pull a gun and shoot me.


            “You’re too young for this,” my hand plastered to the brick work, only ten inches away from her fingers.


            “I’m thinking of jumping,” she was down to stating the obvious, which is always a problem. “I’m so tired.”


            “Well, you must be tired of something,” I said, as a gust of wind took my hat and sent it somewhere far away. “Come on, give me your hand.”


            “I can’t go back,” she said.


            “Look,” I said, “come with me. This doesn’t have to happen.”


            “What?” she asked.


            “Give me your hand,” I said reaching out my right hand, as my left hand touched the flag hanging by its pole. “Please.”


            “I just can’t do this anymore.”


            “I know,” I said. “But it won’t stay like this, it will change. I promise you, improvements are coming.”


            “You don’t understand. How do you know anything?”


            “Kiddo,” I managed to touch her fingertips, and decided not to risk grabbing her just yet. “I’ve been up on ledges before.”


            “You talk lots of girls down?” she asked.


            I wondered if I should mention that the last time I tried to talk a girl down she went down the wrong way. That didn’t seem to be helpful or hopeful though, so I decided not to mention it. Instead I decided on the other tactic in my arsenal.


            “I talked myself down a few times,” I told her. “And I didn’t stand someplace where people would see me, or help me. You knew someone would come out here, you wanted someone to give you a good reason not to fall. I promise you, it won’t be all rainbows and ice cream, but there are ways to improve the situation. You don’t have to always feel like this.”


            “You’re not so smart,” she sobbed and she leaned her weight forward. “Everyone thinks they know, but they don’t.”


            “But I know that it’s not about me,” I said, trying not to babble. “I know it’s not about them down there either. This is about you. It’s got to be about you.”


            “It’s always so hard,” she said.


            “It won’t be instant, and it’ll never be perfect,” I told her. “Gotta fight it everyday, but it does get easier with the right tools.”


            “I’m trapped,” she sobbed again.


            “We can help untrap you.” I said. “Whatever it is, I will help you.”


            “Why bother?” she asked, tears running down her face. “Why are you even trying?”


            What do you say to that? Do you explain you’re trying to make up for the one that got away? Do you tell her that you’ve had enough of people dying on you and now you’ve decided that you’ve got to do something for a real live talking person if you can? I could have told her about Christmas, about Columbia, about Debbie and Karen and Alice, but what would that have done? Nope, had to go for the simpler answer.


            “Gotta try,” I said, inching toward her. “I’m a small business owner. Am I gonna let someone go in this economy? You might have a husband that you think is cheating on you someday. Can’t let potential clients drop off buildings.” That made her laugh and she looked at me, which was good.


            And then she fell.


            I’ll never know if she meant to or if the wind caught her, or if she leaned her weight too far, or if she wanted to fall. Her left hand reached out though like she wanted me to get her. I wasn’t so ready to let go though, I wasn’t going to let this happen again. I pushed my luck, I reached for her hand. My right hand wrapped around her left wrist and her weight dragged us both down. My left hand snapped closed hard on the United States flag as my legs left the ledge and the both of us flew out into space.


            Fuck, that was scary. Knock pointing my own gun at me? That was nothing. A minor irritation. Church and Opus coming at me that night, pssht! I’ll point out that ended with Opus loosing an eye and Church giving up his wife, so they ain’t scary. Even Chester Cat coming to get me at the rolled remains of my car was nothing. Dangling over the edge of the world, with nothing stopping my descent but a flag attached to a pole that was never meant to take the weight? Now we’re talking scary. The only reason this isn’t in more horror movies is that people wouldn’t even bother rushing from the theater screaming, they’d just shit their pants right in the seats.


            “Save the life of my child,” That is what her desperate mother had asked of me, right before she fell into that Buick.


            There were screams, there were gasps, there was terror, and I’m sure the people below me had a reaction too. Our momentum caused us to swing around, to spin gently over the hundred or so foot drop that would have caused us to meld into one broken mass of blood and shattered limbs. I felt my right shoulder try to separate from the bones it had always known and my left hand reported that a faux satin flag was not the best thing to grip as slipping was a likely result.


            There wasn’t much I could do though, I sort of figured I was pretty much fucked. I swung a leg out, catching the ledge, but all I could do was change the angle that I’d eventually fall from. I could have just let go of her, put my other hand on the flag and pulled myself up. But I’d told her it would be okay, and I resent the universe fucking up anyone I take in my charge. If Jack the Cat was watching, I hoped he’d be pulling for me. Jacks have to stick together. I felt a surge of rage as the flag shuddered under our combined weight.


            It was time for a policy statement.


            “I’m not going to take it,” I said through my teeth. “Nope, not gonna take it.”


            If I was weak, this little girl died. Couldn’t be weak then, weakness was not an option. I do hope you’re listening fingers! Don’t let the seam of the flag out of your grasp, because that sort of weakness will not be tolerated. If the gods themselves showed up to impede my progress at that moment, I would have kicked their sorry asses.


            “I’m not going to take it anymore,” I snarled.


            I had had enough of this shit. I was right, free and going to fight. You’ll see. I was getting angry, and that was probably a good thing. I was not weak, and she wasn’t heavy. I girded my loins and pulled the one hundred and three pound girl up with my one hand, which is nothing for a tough guy like me. Tough guys don’t feel pain, they don’t feel fear, they don’t get old and they never die.


            This was not hard, I barely felt it. She was light and I was floating. This wasn’t like trying to lift a four-ton boulder or anything. Easy as pie, piece of cake, nothing a tough guy like me couldn’t handle. I certainly couldn’t feel my rotator cuff popping or anything like that. She was small, tiny, insignificant to the weight of the world. A breeze might have lifted her, so a shitty little private dick like me could. I pulled her up, placing her left hand on Old Glory’s stripes.


            “Grab the flag!” I shouted, feeling it shudder under our weight again.


            There were firefighters at the window, which was an amazing ten inches away. So very, very far. Light years are shorter than 10 inches when you’re dangling from a flag. If one of them was on a line though, and had he jumped, he might just save us. Of course, if he jumped and he missed, we’d all be road pizza.


            Her fingers wrapped around Old Glory and I put my hand on her back to push her as she caught her feet on the ledge. One of them grabbed her ankles, one of them held out his hands. I shoved, and the firefighter got a face full of small, naked breast to the face. His arms wrapped around her and they got stabilized just as the fucking flag poll gave up on me.


            I am going to say this now. My life is not trite, not jaded, nor is it boring or confiscated. If this is the best the forces of darkness have to offer, then their best just won’t do. My fingers crawled up the flag, reaching for that field of blue and stars when I heard the squeal of screws and stone giving up on me. Fucking masonry, this is why I never trust a mason, despite the fact that my grandfather was one.


            I grabbed at the flag with both hands and started to pull myself up as the pole broke free and open space opened its arms to accept me. Open space had quite solid arms, which wrapped around me as I smacked into a metal bar behind me. The flag pole smacked against my face on its way down, and I’d kept just enough presence of mind to hold onto the flag and not let the whole thing tumble down. Who knew if my legs were wrapped in cords or if people below were in the way? Can’t drop the flag, can’t let the flag touch the ground. Every good Eagle Scout knows that. I was never even a cub scout, but I knew some things that Eagle Scouts know. I was a Brownie though, which is where I learned about the flag. It’s a long story, remind me to get drunk sometime so I can tell you all about it.


            Fingers, arms and hands grabbed at my jacket, my arms, someone wrapped around my waist.


            “I’ve got you,” Someone said into my left ear.


            “But who’s got you?” I asked as I dangled with the flag pole in my hands.


            “Heard that one a few times,” he said, and I couldn’t help but giggle.


            “Well they can’t all be gems now can they?” I giggled as the ground came closer, but at a reasonable speed. “Sometimes you’ve got to give the expected answer.”


            “Sure,” he said while the street came closer and the flag pole touched earth. I gathered the flag up in my hands, can’t let the flag touch the ground.


            It then occurred to me that someone was going to try and arrest or at least commit my ward to an institution, and I wanted to know why that phone call had caused her to do what she’d done. I let the flag drop and started to run into the building, because a symbol is nothing compared to a person.


October 23, 2010 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

Question for people older than me.

Do you remember this?

What the hell were you people on in those days?

Next time my mother starts up on “kids today” I’m going to just tear into her with “Look! don’t start any of that shit. In you’re day, close harmony singing raisins was an acceptable ad campaign for cereal!”

They weren’t even singing an old motown hit or anything.

October 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


I once found a nameless horror from beyond the void. I named it Charlie. At that point, it stopped being a horror. Nothing with a name like Charlie can be an indescribable horror. As part of the rehabilitation process, it grew soft fur and learned to cuddle. It’s now called Charlie, the cute cuddly monster from beyond the void. Still eats people though.

October 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Seventeen)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay



Last week’s entry can be found here. 


Chapter Seventeen: Taking Away


            I walked back to the apartment, checking myself in the light to make sure that I wasn’t splattered with blood or anything. There still didn’t seem to be anyone around, it was like everyone else was at the ball. There was just Cindy standing in the doorway, she looked terribly young and vulnerable. She reminded me of the last little girl I’d taken away from Cole. If I’d just shot him like she had suggested, when she suggested, a lot of this could have been avoided. However, if I’d done that then I wouldn’t be able to help her now.


            “Got your stuff?” I asked.


            “Yeah,” she said, and showed me two old beat-up suitcases.


            “Where do you want to go?”


            “Just somewhere where no one will find me,” she said. “Just someplace far from here.”


            In the light, she looked like a scared teenager from the sticks. Her jeans were old and tattered, her shirt had places where the seams had been re-sewn and I would have thrown her shoes out ages ago and I’m a guy. She looked sort of nervous as I looked at her and her bags.


            “All your clothes look like that?” I asked.


            “Pretty much,” she said looking down at herself and then up at me.


            “Okay,” I said. “It’ll do for traveling but we’ll get you some new clothes.”


            “I haven’t got much money.”

            “Don’t worry about it,” I said. “I’m supposed to be the boss of a big operation so I assume the credit card will get paid.”


            “What’ll I do for money?” she asked. “I can’t get a job no where.”


            “I’ll get you a job,” I assured her. “And I’ll get you a place to stay. You’ll be okay.”


            “Do I have to fuck you?” she asked, and it was so earnest that I found it funny.


            “No,” I said and shook my head. “You and I will not ever be having sex. It’s not like that.”


            “Why?” she asked.


            “Because you’re like half my age.” I said.


            “No,” she shook her head. “If you’re not gonna fuck me or nothing, then why?”


            “Oh, that,” I said. “I’m making up for something, trying to put right what once went wrong and hoping that each leap, will be the leap home?”


            “Huh?” she asked.


            “Nothing,” I said. “It’s not about you, it’s about helping you out because the person I want to help is beyond my help. You understand?”


            “You’re making up for someone,” she said.


            “Yeah,” I nodded.


            “Okay,” we walked to the Hudson and she gasped audibly. “Is this your car?”

            “Yeah,” I said.


            “Is it going to turn back into a pumpkin at midnight?” she asked.


            “No,” I said touching the side of the vehicle. “This car has a different kind of magic. Trust me though, it is a kind of magic.”


            She smiled at me and I smiled back. It was sort of a nice moment, and had I been six years younger and her six years older I would have tossed her into the back seat and had my way with her. I wasn’t that young though, and she wasn’t that old, and it wasn’t going to happen anyway because I had enough women to contend with at the moment.


            “So where are we going?”


            “Up to you,” I said. “Where would you like to go?”


            “I don’t know,” she shrugged “Anywhere. I need to find a job and a place to live.”


            “I’m supposed to be part owner of detective agency with offices in Chicago, San Francisco and Michigan.” I told her. “We can probably arrange something for you in one of those places. Get you a job, someplace to stay. When do you turn eighteen?”


            “October,” she said.


            “We’ll take care of you until then, and after that we’ll see about getting you on your own feet,” I said. “Just pick one of those three and we’ll go.”


            “Do they get snow in Chicago?” she asked.


            “In the winter,” I said.


            “I’d like to see snow,” she said.


            “It’s almost June,” I told her.


            “I can wait,” she smiled at me, and she actually looked like she might be allowing a glimmer of hope for the first time in her life. “If I can see snow, I’ll wait.”


            “Yes, well,” I said starting the car. “Let’s wait there instead of here.”


            “Okay,” she said as we pulled out of the driveway and away into the world.


            We drove to Illinois, I met the woman who manages the Chicago office for Debbie and introduced the idea of keeping an orphan. I couldn’t help but feel like I was dumping a kitten on her, but fortunately Greta took to Cindy as if she were a kitten. While I was there I spent a couple of days looking over the Chicago office and getting to know the people who Debbie had hired while my back was turned.


            I must say Debbie has interesting hiring practices. I’m not sure if she’d specifically set out to make an entirely gay private detective office or if it just happened that the people she liked were gay or if she’d personally recruited these people and only asked gays to work for her, but it was certainly interesting that out of the seven people that populated that office four of them were gay and the other three were bisexuals. It didn’t seem to bother anyone on the fairly lengthy list of clients in the greater Chicago area, and I suppose it didn’t bother me, it just struck me as odd was all.


            On the fourth day though, there was something of a problem. I was talking to Greta, who had immigrated from Sweden when she was eighteen when the issue arose. We’d agreed let Cindy act as a receptionist, which seemed like it was working out until one call came and caused trouble.


            “We’ve got a problem,” Steve, one of the operatives, said as he stuck his head into Greta’s office. “Our receptionist is on the ledge of the building.”


            “What?” she leapt up and because she was much fitter and younger than me she got out the door first.


            There was a pile of clothing in front of the open window, and Jay and Kevin were looking out the window at something that was along the wall. Steve looked at us, the clothes and then at the window. He looked worried and scared, but at a loss as to what he should do.


            “She took a call,” Jay said, “It was something personal I think because she was whining and saying she didn’t want to leave and she was crying when she hung up.”


            “And then she took off her clothes and went out there,” Kevin finished the story.


            “We’ve called the fire department,” Jay added.


            “Get back,” I said waving my arms at them.


            I stuck my head out the window, looking at the gray and overcast sky. There was a storm coming soon, but not for a while. I could feel the humidity in the air though, and the cold that told me it was coming. I looked at her, standing naked in the cooling air, her nipples standing erect against the wind. There was a flagpole with the flag waving between us, but I could see what was going on.


            Years ago, when I was young and should have been better at this sort of thing, I’d been begged by a woman to save her daughter. That girl had also taken her clothes off and jumped from the top of a building naked, I’d missed her by ten inches. The woman had sobbed for me to save her, and I went out a back exit so I didn’t have to face her in my failure. Now, here was another version of that.


            “How long?” I asked.


            “A couple of minutes,” Jay said.


            “Fuck,” I said climbing out the window.


            “Jack?” Greta demanded. “What are you doing?”


            “Just make sure everyone knows it was me that went out there,” I said as I started to climb out onto the ledge.  I sort of hoped Tracey would hear of this, wherever he was. It would be nice if he knew what I got up to without him around.



October 18, 2010 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

Three Points about Cancer

Point One:
I really, really, REALLY don’t like the Save the ta-tas movement. Seriously, don’t we objectify women enough without telling them that their soul worth is their boobs? I mean… breast cancer fucking kills! Can’t we have some consideration for the human being attached to those breasts, worrying about the fact that this lump of aberrant flesh growing inside her might kill her?

I’m not sure, not having dealt with the issue first hand, but I would think the idea of discovering you have a cancer growing inside you would be terrifying. Not only that, but to have some jack ass then scream “NNOOOOO! Not the titties! I wouldn’t care if you have bone cancer, or bowel cancer, but why did you have to ruin my favorite bits?” would be less of a relief than they seem to think.

Can’t we save the women? Why must we always focus on the breast?

I will admit, I find the idea of a mastectomy to be sort of horrifying. Less because of the sexual implications (although I will admit that’s an issue) and more because I keep thinking “Haven’t we come any farther than this?” whenever I hear about it. I know, it’s a tough thing to deal with, but as a procedure, it seems almost… I can’t think of a better word than mutilation. We are talking about removing the whole breast, after all.

My point is, can we worry about the human being who has discovered that she might be killed by this horrible thing that has infected her body? I don’t know for sure, but I would think that maybe we should consider the person with the cancer and not just the place it seems to reside.

Point Two:
I’m all for positive thinking. I’m all for believing you can do it. I’m not for deluding yourself or avoiding any sense of reality for fear that it might display of fucking terrified you are.

No one ever hears a man say “Getting testicular cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me.” You know why? For the same reason men’s pants sizes are in inches instead of vague numbers. We don’t buy into that horseshit. If we can’t just grab a pair of pants and have them fit first time, we kick and scream like little children and then take our business elsewhere. If anyone pretends that having a cancerous lump on the end of our nuts is something that might turn out to be a good thing in the end, we give them five across the eyes until they talk sense again.

Women are supposed to look at breast cancer like it’s some sort of gift. What a great chance to re-evaluate your life! I’ve seen some serious talk about how what a great experience having breast cancer was because the women in question learned who their friends were and how better to cope with the world around them.

No, it’s bullshit. Cancer is and always was bullshit. Cancer is the thing that makes the faithful cringe when some atheist says “How the fuck does that fit in with this big mysterious fucking Plan this douche of yours has worked out?” If there are gods, cancer is the proof that they’re shit heads. If cancer brings people closer to their gods, I keep wanting to mention it was that same god that gave them cancer and that I’m calling social services on this abusive relationship. The gods only hit you ‘cause you make them crazy? No, their shit bags who hurt people and give them cancer for fun and passive aggressive bullshit reasons. The existence of vodka and American Idol doesn’t help their case any while I’m on the subject.

Pink ribbons and teddy bears* don’t make cancer better. It might make some people feel loved and cared for, but it makes some other people feel infantilized and devalued as an adult human being. Some people find it kind of condescending when the doctor talks to their husband because they’re not supposed to worry their fluffy little heads. Some people think they should be allowed to get mad and feel like they’ve been handed a little beach shovel and told to dig through two tons of horse-hockey. They think that being told not to complain, not to bitch, and not to moan is some serious, weapons grade bullshit.

And you know how I know cancer of a sexual organ is bullshit? Men don’t pull this “Mustn’t Grumble” bullshit when we get it. No one ever looks at cancer of the nuts as something positive that needs to be over come with things of yogurt with colors ribbons printed on them. Men know that cancer is bullshit. Women put up with the bullshit of a size 8 being different from one store to the next, they also put up with the pink ribbon bullshit. Men don’t, we want to know pants will fit without putting them on and we know loosing a sex organ is a big old pile of bullshit.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get on with it. If positive thinking is needed, by all means try to keep you PMA, but don’t pretend this bullshit isn’t bullshit. Be mad about it, throw a tantrum and then get on with your day.

Point Three:
Is there any guiding organization that runs the pink ribbon thing? Candy companies put pink wrappers on their candy bars and get an influx of sales as a result. Yogurt puts pink ribbons on their packaging all the time. I see more pink ribbon stuff than anything else. You’d think by now they’d have breast cancer licked. Where is all that money going? All these pink things keep selling really well, is any of the money actually going to research? I ask because I really don’t know, but I do know that money for “charities” often end up going to someone’s private jet and company cars.

And, is anyone left not aware of breast cancer? I’ve been told the whole idea is to raise awareness, but I’m pretty aware and thankfully, no one in my family has had to deal with it that I know of. So I haven’t been personally affected, and I’m really aware of breast cancer. I mean like, super aware. I know it exists, I know it kills, I’ve got a sword by the door if breast cancer tries to get in. That’s my other problem, I don’t know what to do about it or have any actual information. I’m aware, but not informed. That to me is a huge problem.

*The teddy bears are also pink.

October 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment



October 14, 2010 Posted by | Photo | | Leave a comment

Five Things

1. I really like the Hieronymus Bosch painting The Conjurer, becuase the dog in it is wearing motley. No one dresses dogs up in motley anymore.

2. The word Circus, comes from the word circle. First attested in English 14th century, the word circus derives form Latin “circus”, which is the romanization of the Greek “κίρκος” (kirkos), itself the anagram of the Homeric Greek “κρίκος” (krikos), meaning “circle” or “ring”. So now you know.

3. Lillian Gish was a hottie

4. I very much want to see a version of Hamlet where Hammy and Fortinbras solve crimes and foil a bank robbery with a 10 minute shoot out and Ophlia decides to lez it up with whoever else is on stage in a skirt. You know… for kids!

5. I’m not all that wild about Vincent van Gogh’s work. More into Mark Rothko, even though that poor bastard was ripped off left and right.

October 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Sixteen)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay



Last week’s entry can be found here.


Chapter Sixteen: Stone Cold


            “Come on Cole,” I said pulling him up as he slowly came to.


            “Where is that bitch?” he asked, holding his hand to his head. “She’s gonna be fuckin’ sorry.”


            “Not now Cole,” I said shoving him toward the door. “You and I have some unfinished business.”


            “Fuck you,” he said trying to shove me, but missing my chest by sixteen inches. “I ain’t goin’ nowhere with you.”


            I grabbed his shirt collar and smacked him into the wall good and hard. There was an impression in the wall, like a pair of parentheses encoded on the wall. I reached past Cole, and yanked on the doorknob, smacking him with the door as it swung open. I shoved him outside and closed the door behind us. It was warm and there were probably bugs the size of a Volvo this far south.


            “Let’s go to those trees,” I suggested, pointing to my left. “Or do you want to see if anyone will come running to help a child molesting piece of shit like you?”


            “You’re gonna kill me.” he looked scared, which was good.


            “No,” I said shaking my head. “No, I’m not. I want to talk to you about a few things. When we’ve had our talk, I’ll have to decide what to do with you, but that will come later. Either way though, Cindy is coming with me.”


            “She’s my cousin,” he demanded.


            “Which is why what you’ve been doing is doubly wrong, now start walking towards the trees.”


            “I just fuck her in the ass,” he said, lifting his nose into the air. “I make her swallow some come sometimes, but we ain’t gonna have no mutants or nothing.”


            I should be ashamed of myself, I really should. Bringing the sap down directly on his nose is something I really shouldn’t have done. I also shouldn’t have kicked him in the crotch and I really shouldn’t have smacked him as hard as I could on his hip where I’d shot him three years ago, almost to the day. He fell to the ground and actually started to sob like the little bitch he was, I kicked him in the ass and looked around, but this place was clearly for people who were working like hell to not have to live in a place like this anymore.


            “You want me to just shoot you here?” I asked. “Get moving.”


            I gave his still ample rump another kick and he got up and almost ran towards the small patch of trees and brush. The area proved to be like every other patch of trees and brush that I’ve ever seen near an apartment building, complete with a circle of crates and stolen lawn furniture around an old Styrofoam cooler. Cole stumbled into the woods, and we worked our way more or less to the middle of it. There wasn’t enough to be unseen, but there was enough cover that people couldn’t see exactly what we were doing.


            “You know what I’ve spent the last three years doing?” I asked him as I leaned against a tree. “I spent almost two years comatose. Then I spent the last year learning how to walk and not dribble when I drink and all those fun things.”


            “It ain’t my fault,” he said, looking scared still.


            “Oh, but I could blame it on you,” I said. “All I need to do it go to a state approved psychologist and tell them that I remember you shooting me. I don’t have to say that I remember who shot me.”


            “The little cunt shot you,” he whined.


            “Call her Jill,” I said, remaining calm.


            “Yeah, she did it.”


            “Who knows that?” I asked. “Now, do we talk, or do I just call the cops and let them know I’ve found you?”


            “What do you want?” he asked.


            “What the fuck was up with you and Piper?” I asked, since it was the only way I could think to encompass all the questions. “I mean, you kidnap his kid, and he gets me to get her back, and then you’re at his house when we get there and he’s your buddy and it all seems a little pointless. Why kidnap her if he’d give her to you? Why did he want me to go get her if he was just going to hand her back to you? What the fuck?”


            “He got cold feet,” he said. “They’d said I could have her, and he tried to get her back, but they talked to him.”


            “Who talked to him?” I asked.


            “You know, the council.”


            “Which council?” I asked.


            “You don’t know?” he asked. “The Thinkonomics council.”


            “The Church of Thinkonomics said you could have a millionaire’s fourteen year old daughter as your sex slave?” I must admit I was a bit flabbergasted by the idea.


            “I wasn’t supposed to take her until she was sixteen,” he said, “and then I wasn’t supposed to fuck her until her eighteenth birthday. They got rules about it and shit.”


            “But they said you could have his daughter?”


            “Yeah,” he lifted his head defiantly, despite the pain it must have caused him to make any sudden movements. “That whole operation down in Banbury was one of theirs. I’d done a good job and they were rewarding me.”


            “And then you got it exposed,” I said.


            “You fuckin’ exposed it,” he said pointing a finger at me and nodding which caused him to wince in pain and grab at his nose. “You ruined everything. They found out I was fucking the cunt and cast me out. I was fuckin’ shunned because of you.”


            “Aww,” I said, trying to mock sympathy, “poor baby.”


            “Fuckin’ Piper fucked it up,” he snarled. “I would have been tops, but he fucked it all up. He got cold feet about the little cunt, and he wanted her back. Probably fuckin’ her himself. Cunt knew how to suck cock and take it up the ass when I had her.”


            “He still a member then?” I asked, getting more annoyed with him as he went. If I hit him again though, he’d just bitch more and it would take too long to get anything useful out of him without pliers. I had pliers, but they were in the car and it was hot and I didn’t feel like walking there and back.


            “How the fuck should I know?” he asked. “It ain’t like they send me fruit baskets on Columbus day or nothing. I been fuckin’ shunned because of you and that cunt.”


            “You know,” I said, “you really need to call her Jill.”


            “Fuck you,” He said, and didn’t even look at me.


            “No,” I said reaching behind me and grabbing the handle of the Drexel thirty-two in my hip holster. “Fuck you. You’re the one that’s fucked here.”


            “Shit,” he said, looking at the small revolver as if it were a snake.


            “You see how I’ve got medical tape around the trigger, handle and hammer? Notice how the number has been filed off?” I said indicating the salient points. “You think anyone would try to work out who shot you? You miserable piece of shit.” 


            “You said you weren’t gonna kill me?” Tears started to stream down his face.


            “And I won’t,” I broke open the revolver and dumped the six rounds into my palm, putting one back in and closing it. I then wiped down the gun where I had touched it and cycled the chamber so that the live one would be in place when the hammer was tugged back. “You’re going to top yourself.”


            “Fuck you!” he shouted. “Fuck you, and fuck that cunt!”


            I gave him a good hard clap across the head, which caused a scream to emit from him. He must have been in a lot of pain from the beating I’d given him earlier. He fell over and his right hand, already going blue from the sap, landed on a rock. I stomped on the hand to make sure he didn’t grab the rock and get any funny ideas. His hand made a whole collection of unhealthy sounds when I stomped and the screaming continued.


            “You’re gonna go back to jail,” I snarled at him. “You’re going to have to go back, with everyone knowing you went right back to raping little girls. We’re in Texas, and you killed people here. I hand you over in this state and they’ll give you the needle Cole. You know what that stuff is? It’s an acid. They say it turns your organs to mush. I’ve heard you can feel it burning away your veins as it travels through your blood stream. You want that?”


            “You’re gonna make me shoot myself,” he said, getting up halfway, staying on his knees.


            “I’m offering you a way out Cole,” I said, oil in my voice now. “I’m giving you the opportunity not to be forcibly buttfucked by every Mexican who heard about what was going down at Banbury Cross. I’m letting you get out this. I’d like to see you being turned into the biggest bitch in the pen until the day they fill you so full of poison it dissolves your fucking eyes. I’m your only friend left in the world Cole. I’m giving you the chance to go out like a man.”


            I tossed the revolver between his knees. It was more or less in the same place and pointing in the same direction that his gun had been when Jill Piper picked it up to plug me. He looked at the gun and tried to pick it up with his right hand, but I’d so mashed his hand he couldn’t get at it. He picked it up with his left hand and pointed it at his temple.


            “No Cole,” I told him.  “Put it in your mouth, the barrel needs to touch the roof of your mouth so it can go through properly.”


            “My fuckin’ suicide,” he complained.


            “You do it wrong, and you live, and I will pay people to ass rape you in the retard ward,” I snapped. “You fuck it up, and you’ll wish you’d taken the needle ride.”


            He opened his mouth, sort of hesitantly pointed the gun sort of in his mouth without putting the gun in there. I was getting disgusted with him. He should have either tried to shoot me or just up and done it by now. This dilly-dallying was pissing me off.


            “Look, Collier,” he sounded like he wanted to try and be reasonable, but I was done with reason, obviously.


            “You’re just pissing me off now Cole,” I said. “Come on, you’ve done time in Jackson as a child molester, so you’ve have bigger dicks in your mouth than this one. Suck that steel dick and let it come in your gob. You’re not getting out of this.”


            “Collier,” he started to cry in earnest. “I can tell you all about them. I can tell you everything.”


            “I found out what I wanted to know Cole,” I said. “Now get to it.”


            He sat there, on his knees, looking at the gun in his left hand for a good long time. He could see that there really was no way out of this and he opened his mouth and put the gun in. He then just sat there with the gun in his mouth for a while, before tugging on the hammer to cycle the round into place. He pulled the gun out and looked at me imploringly, while I stared at him. I wasn’t going to take my eyes off him for a second, I wasn’t going to let him get the impression that I was even remotely human. He put the gun against his lips again and then slid the gun further in, his teeth pressing against the cylinder of the revolver.


            “C’mon Cole!” I shouted finally and he pulled the trigger.


            The top of his head didn’t pop open, like Hewie’s had done, but that didn’t worry me. His head went out of shape, blood poured from his nose and mouth, and he fell face down on the ground. I wondered if that counted as a lie, since I’d said I wasn’t going to kill him. I had killed him, more or less. Oh sure, I’d gotten him to pull the actual trigger himself, but I did it. I just hoped that it made up for Hewie in some small way. One who should have died for one who totally shouldn’t have. I kicked at his side to roll him over, because I wanted to make sure he was dead. He was.


            I stood up and walked back to the apartment to get Cindy out of there.




October 10, 2010 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

A book I didn’t like

I remember the first time I really hated the main character of a story. I didn’t care about the book Island of the Blue Dolphins, but I didn’t hate it or the main character. I also remember the book having a pace that made it feel like reading all of Proust in one volume, despite it’s low page count. I just didn’t want to read the book and elected not to finish the stupid thing. I felt guilty about it at first, but then we were shown the movie any and I discovered that there was indeed something worse than reading that book. I didn’t hate it though, I just didn’t care.

No, the story I genuinely hated was Jack London’s To Build a Fire. I really hated that story and that character. In fact, I wanted him to die. I remember quite clearly, being 11 and thinking “People this stupid don’t deserve fire! If you gave him fire, he’d just burn himself anyway.” And then of course, a page or two later, he sets himself on fire! A life long hatred of Jack London started right there and then. There is a difference between a story following the natural progression and boring the reader so bad they start predicting the rest of the tale.

I really, really, REALLY wish that someone had come to me at about age 10 or12 and said “Listen kid, London? Sucks! Steinbeck? Sucks! Hemmingway? Sucks, blows, felches and swallows! Look kid, this is The Maltese Falcon by a guy named Dashiell Hammett.” You know, as opposed to boring me to death with bits of shit no one in their right mind would ever read. The sort of things that no one would touch if they weren’t so fucking worthy.

I sort of think that’s why so many of my generation decided not to read, they were utterly turned off by the shit we were handed in school to read. If I didn’t know that there were better books in the world by 9th grade, I myself would have never read anything ever again after Gentlehands for fear of having to read something so fucking stupid ever again in life. I really, really hated that book. If anyone had assigned The Thin Man or Farewell, My Lovely instead… those would have been much needed revelations. I’m all for variety, but we didn’t have any in our schools. Worthy book after worthy book. Important story after important story, with enjoyment being looked down upon as something to be shunned.

I do understand that part of the problem is that some asshole of a parent would have bitched and moaned if we read anything even slightly interesting. Interesting books tend to have sex, murders, crimes, velociraptors or zombies in them and parents think their precious little hell spawns are the most innocent of creatures and have never even said the word “darn” much less “cunt-fucker” and desperately want them not to have access to anything beyond The Poky Little Puppy, but a teacher could have noticed my constant complaints about the garbage we were being told to read and suggested something that didn’t suck shit out of a dead donkey’s ass through a garden hose. No, I didn’t quite use those words… I suggested a crazy straw at the time, but upon reflection, it probably would be too narrow.

October 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment