Thursday, June 20, 2013

Security Checkpoint

The suitcases were heavy when she lifted them to the conveyor.  The handles visibly strained to keep them aloft.

The people in line behind her, all with as many or more bags, all just as swollen, groaned when the klaxon sounded and the belt stopped.  The men in blue shirts donned their latex gloves and lifted her suitcases down, wielding them one-handed, like balloons.  Others pawed her belongings on a long metal table.

“Fear,” called one of the searchers. 

“Shame,” said another.  She giggled.  “Lust.  Self-hatred.”

“You can’t bring contraband through here,” the man with the wraparound mustache scolded her.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


The ragged black lump mewled in its nest of white blankets.  Tiny fangs glistened, and ebony eyes peeped out.

“It’s so helpless,” Chelsea said.  “I was expecting it to be... meaner, I guess.”

“You still have to be careful.  More so, really.”  Alice filled the eyedropper with crimson fluid.  “The big ones just make you afraid.  You can tell they’re dangerous.”  She lowered the dropper to the waiting mouth.  The creature sucked hungrily, staring up at her wide-eyed.  Suddenly, it lunged up the glass tube and sunk its fangs through Alice’s latex gloves. 

“They are what they are,” said Alice.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Baby Talk

The baby held the red plastic phone to her ear, nodding and babbling.  I smiled, at least until the cockroach skittered down the cord.  Thing must’ve been three inches long.  I snatched the phone; the baby squalled, uncomprehending. 

Eventually I dumped it outside.  I’d disinfect it in the morning.

That night, I woke to the baby’s cry.  “Da!  Da!” 

I saw her standing in the doorway, roaches streaming past her chubby legs.  One big one perched unmoving on her shoulder.

As the filthy black bodies filled my mouth, all I could think was, Thing must be three inches, at least.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Structural Decay

He got up, just like every morning, and shut off the alarm clock.  He brushed his teeth and got dressed.  He didn’t notice anything odd until he got to the kitchen and tried to verb the eggs. 

He blinked and looked down at the saucepan, where the nouns still sat, verbing. 

“What?” he verbed.

He tried to verb the nouns again, but pronoun wouldn’t verb.

Frantically, he clung to specificity, but pronoun verbed adverb.

Noun verbed preposition article noun, but when he opened it, he saw the noun fading into adjective noun.  Noun verbed.  Noun verbed adverb.

“Expletive,” Noun verbed.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


At the black basalt altar, the skeleton sat, propped up only by vines and the stillness of the air.  Carol and Lynn hardly dared breathe.  Bony fingers were still poised over the keys of the typewriter, a model that would have been as anachronistic when the room was built as now.  The stack of paper beside it was curiously intact, with all else fallen to dust.

“Can you see what he was writing?” asked Lynn.

Carol squinted.  “T...H...E... E...N... then it breaks off.”

They thought about this for a while.

“I think we should leave the door closed,” said Lynn.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Among the Lost

The bag slipped.  A potato chip fell into the crack between the couch cushions.  I reached in after it.  My arm went in and down.  I felt loose change slide past my fingers.  I found an old battery.

Why stop there? I wondered. 

I slid deeper, down to the springs, down to the carpet, and the bare concrete.  I passed the subways and the dirt, a rusted signpost, a sunken city of blind things that mewled like kittens.

And the dark.

That’s where I stayed.

I’m sure they’ve sold my things by now.  Including the couch.

Careful with your chips.