Thursday, April 23, 2009


"Why are we camping again?"

Casey wanted to say it was to alleviate the situation of being entirely too lost, convinced the only people who ever wanted to be in Texas were Texans, but instead she opted for a much kinder approach.

"I'm sick of going through the same old habits. We go to a town, eat at will inevitably be shitty diner food and stay at a motel or sleep in the car. The weather's nice, there's a starry sky, and it looks like Gordon has given us a bonfire."

Mali and Joe turned to see Gordon emptying a bottle of whiskey into the pit, creating a glorious blaze that lit the night sky.

"........Yeah, I was totally starting a bonfire for us....roast something....that's it...."

"Maybe we should tell scary stories, I mean this is the right setting."

"Not a bad idea Joe, let's do it around the bonfire like back at Jesus Camp."

"And I'm officially not surprised."

"Of what Mali?"

"....nothing. Anyway, after my episode, I think I'd rather wait a bit before I go."

"Yeah, who the fuck is afraid of spiders? Why not be afraid of something like Jason?"

"Seriously, Joe, if you're going to invoke a horror icon, you can do better."

"What like Freddy?"

"Yeah Freddy, he's definitely scarier than Jason, or at least he could be. Dreams are far more frightening than real life because they're malleable. They can bend and mold without you having any real say in the matter and that sense of powerlessness really brings the fear. Jason just chases you and as long as you pay attention where you're running, there's a chance of escape."

"But that's what I like Casey, a false sense of hope, because when he does catch you, and he always does, your mind is crushed right before your skull is."

"Yeah, okay Joe, or maybe their last thought was maybe I shouldn't have had sex. Jason had weird rapist tendencies and really was pretty boring. I think creativity is a part of fear. I mean what's scarier, a guy who stabs people or a guy who dismembers them and eats their eyes?"

"Well that depends, are the stabbings random? I think people feel better knowing they don't fit the modus operandi and if there is no m.o. it is much more frightening."

"Silly Joe, people will generally fear the more sensational, even if the likelihood is small. Look at shark attacks, more people are killed by coconuts per year than sharks."

"Both o' you blokes are wrong."

"Welcome to the fold Gordon. If you are such a scholar on the subject matter, do share."

"Honestly, the dice speaks louder than I do, all six lil eyes o' hers. The truth is, reality is far more frightening than fiction. You'd be amazed what absurdities people have reached carrying the banners of the soft science and such in hand."

He was a physician, one of the best in all of Europe and Asia, documented for his roll in developing the first heart and lung machine, a scientific breakthrough that allowed the sustenance of life through artificial means. Reaching that point was laborious and required years of experimentation.

"Here's the new batch you ordered Dr. Bryukhonenko, ready to be processed."

"Alright, pick one and prep it for test #574A."

He wasn't the first dog to be captured by the Soviets, far from it in fact. Bruno was the 574th in a series of experiments propagated on his species for the advancement of the Soviet cause. He was unaware of the fate that awaited him, of the infamy he gain.

The nurse sedated the canine and placed him on the moving tray to be wheeled to the doctor. But first a stop had to be mad at station 2. Station 2 was situated in the back of the facility and had the appearance of a meat locker, complete with center drain. The nurse then passed the tray off to a large bald gentleman of 40. Silently the man picked up the bonesaw, the glean of the metal casted dancing lights on Bruno's soft white fur. The saw came down around Bruno's neck and with several motions, Bruno became matted with sanguine fluid. Sparks of plasma decorated the nameless man's apron as he applied a lumberman's task to the tragic canine's collar until his job was done and Bruno had big good morrow to his body. The nameless man then quickly wheeled the cart over to Dr. Bryukhonenko and the physician quickly hooked up the autojektor to the lifeless head. Within minutes the head awakened. It responded to stimulus and even made attempts at eating, though the treats lief was short lived as it dropped from the back of his throat. The experiment was considered a rousing success, but many more were to follow. bruno's had was cast aside, his life removed with the pull of a switch, treated like so many appliances that would succeed him.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Old Switcheroo

By the time anyone could sensibly respond to her piercing cries of unutterable horror, Mali had practically climbed into the driver's seat.

The van swerved to and fro across the double yellow line, threatening to pitch them all over the precipice of a gaping slope to their left. Joe wrestled her from the floorboards betwixt the front seats as she kicked and howled and Casey reared her right arm for a firm, well-deserved hand across Mali's cheek.

"Spider!" she insisted, as though they were the crazy ones to not be screaming their heads off as well, indicating with two accusatory forefingers the seat she had been seated in a moment before.

Gordon leaned forward from the rear of the van and inspected the seat cushion. His nose scrunched up and he nodded with grim disappointment, "Yeah. Spider."

"Well, kill it!" Mali pressed.

Gordon shrugged and collected the shoe from his left foot in hand before steadying it high above the fearsome intruder, poised for the kill.

One swat, splat.

Parker expressed his disgust with a drawn-out ewww! while Joe searched the glove compartment for a tissue to clean up the remains of the tiny conquistador.

"Now where am I supposed to sit?" Mali groaned.

"Squeeze in with Gordon and Parker in back, I guess." Joe shrugged and turned to face the window, his interest now dissipated in Mali's troubles.

Mali worked her way down the narrow aisle of the van, careful to avoid the goo left by the spider. The boys parted, but it was asses to ankles for all intents and purposes, and Mali was left no choice but to slide onto Parker's lap. They exchanged an awkward smile before both stiffly fixed their eyes on opposite things.

"Are we still lost?"

"We've been lost for almost a day. I have no fucking idea where we are," Casey snipped, tired of driving and being accused of getting them all lost, but no one offering to replace her spot most of all.

"Well, we missed Rifle, clearly. Maybe Denver--"

"At this rate, it could be 'maybe Guadalajara'."

"Story time?" Gordon suggested, weary of the bickering.

Joe pulled the die from his pocket and gave it a toss down the aisle without a look.

"That'd be two," Parker affirmed knowingly.

Carl Marx was more than a man with a coincidental name; he was a hero - or to such esteem he held himself, at least.

The idea for his greatest feat came to him one notably average Tuesday morning, a moment of eureka that struck him the instant he lifted the carafe to fill his empty mug for the third time. The shock and awe of the scheme overtaking him was enough to spill the carafe across the table and onto the floor, rivulets of the steaming brew spreading over the kitchen like the tide. He knew he'd struck genius.

Marx shared more than a name with the deceased German philosopher; the two, should they ever had met somewhere in space and time, could have slapped one another on the back to commend their agreement in their perspectives on religion. 21st-Century-Marx, however, insisted on taking the analysis two steps forward, and every evening after work he would perch at his computer and ponder a way to serve all the religious of the world even just a teaspoon of their own bullshit. And finally, on a very average Tuesday morning, he at last had a plan.

As head of his graduating class from the most prestigious computer science academy on the western seaboard, Marx had been treated to the inside information of network diagnostics and security innovations in the computer realm since he was a teenager, and as such was one of the most gifted ---"

Gordon stopped in the middle of his story, his jaw left hung agape.

"Aw, fuck." Joe spoke for all of them.

Passing the right side of their van was a green highway sign, adorned with an enormous cowboy hat, reading in brilliant red, "Welcome To Texas, Partners!"