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SHORT RIBS AND OTHER TASTY MORSELS
April 25, 2009
To borrow a phrase: APRIL is the cruelest month bringing tender seedlings from hard earth. It's spring, go out and smell the flowers, listen to the birdies and begin to hate that damn groundhog for leaving big holes in the grass. Speaking of grass, Honey, is the mower working or did you leave the gas in it like last year and clog the carburetor again?
In 2732, humanity's colonization of space stopped because of a murder on Olympus Station, an artificial moon circling a colony of Earth. The Galactic Council had no choice but to send on of their own to act as judge, jury and executioner.
"Wakey, wakey. Time for a new assignment." Alpha Three manipulated the specifications for Angus Kincaid's body.
"Insertion of brain core in three, two, one, mark," Alpha One announced. The body on the table jerked.
"It's too soon. It hurts," Kincaid said.
"You'll like being a ginger boy. It's better than that insectoid abomination from last year or the slug-like creatures you negotiated the peace treaty with. Activating all simulacra now." Alpha Three announced.
"It is not my time," Kincaid protested again. Alpha Three twiddled the cloning parameters for physicality and sexuality. Kincaid's eyes tried to focus.
"Tough titty, Millie McBitty. You're needed. There's been a death. Not a silly accidental death, but a cold-blooded murder, animated, full of rage, planned. The locals are frantic, and quite frankly so's the Council. The murder of a First-Gen cannot be allowed to go unpunished. If the First-Gen are shown to be vulnerable, the Galactic Empire falls. The locals cry murder most foul. The locals cry murder will out. The locals cry murder hath killed sleep. They cry over spilt milk. You must unmake their nightmare. Dry their tears," Alpha One sounded smug.
"Murder? You bloody bastards, you're turning me into Hamlet and Miss Marple all at once. Own up, doucebags, which one am I: the angst ridden son of a whoring bitch or a doddering old lady with the smarts?"
"Neither. Both. You will be Inspector Kincaid. You are empowered to create a law enforcement branch on Olympus Station and by extension the world of New Maradona. You are investigator, prosecutor, judge and jury. You carry the full force of galactic law on your shoulders. Use as you see fit," Alpha One answered. Kincaid tried to visualize his new body but Alpha Three activated the transport restraints.
"You're making me a master of the universe? Am I Sherman McKoy or He-Man?"
"You're She'Ra's handy dandy pet -- Pete the Penis. The Maradonan message begged: Help us. Save us. Send us an investigator, a judge and a jury for we have forgotten how to administer justice and one of us has died."
"You made that up, didn't you?" You made them sound like they just peed their pants running away from the boogieman. They aren't frightened children?" Kincaid stiffened. The Energy beams started to encode his body.
"Angus, lie still. Stop misbehaving!"
"You know I hate transport. You're going to give me two penises."
"That's just normal paranoia. We give everybody two penises. Think of the thrill of the search, the delight of the reveal, the panic of the chase, the climax of the catch and the self-satisfied smugness of a the conviction." Alpha One intoned like a prayer.
"We're going to give you two androids to assist you. We embedded your persona in them. A triumvirate of you linked to you by wireless, absolutely untraceable and undetectable. Also, we give you permission to enlist one human into our ranks. Beyond that, my darling, speak to the hand." Alpha Three's outstretched hand blurred in the energy field.
"I'm in bureaucratic triplicate. Heartless bastards." Angus wanted to point one finger up in the air but right then, he couldn't figure out if he had a finger. "Heartless, I say!" punctuated the air instead.
"We have no heart, Angus Kincaid. You know well we have no heart. If we had a heart, we'd feel guilty about tripling your sex drive and making you one giant dick." Alpha One's metallic voice actually laughed. Kincaid didn't even have time for an expletive as the protective compression of quantum bundling surrounded his persona.
"TRANSIT in three, two," Alpha Three pushed the button early. The quantum transport whipped Kincaid 163 point 1415926 thousand light years across the galaxy. He woke in a cloning facility on New Maradona in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The staff expressed surprise and fear at the sudden creation of a Rez-Clone from Earth. He almost said "Take me to your leader" but thought better of it when the androids arrived and the Staff started to beg for their lives. He might as well have been a messenger from the gods or possibly a demon from Hell. He chased the Staff away with a simple-minded explanation of swamp gas and electromagnetic interference. Then he dressed and checked his credit discs. He was rich and booked on the spaceship to Olympus.
The Conquering Hero Goes Christmas Shopping
The hood of the car hung out there in the lane as he slowly turned left and left again for row after row of the filled Death Valley Mall parking lot. A sing-song muttering accompanied the ubiquitous holiday radio programs.
"Sleigh bell bling, will ya blister, to the plane, cows are flittin..." Again, that slow and oh so wide turn. This time right, right, right with occasional backups because of hidden compacts between gargantuan SUVs.
"I'm never gettin' inside. Everybody and their Aunt Betty and Uncle Archie are here today. What a depressing thought. Old Uncle Archie's buttocks parked on a stone bench without his donut. Dog, will he have a screamer of a movement tonight. Whole factories organized against management goons easier than Archie's battle with his..."
And then IT appears, and empty parking space. It's peeking just around the far end of a row. HURRY! The tires screech an approach. He jams the accelerator forward. The hood careens and it comes into view... A cart station filled with busted buggies, wasted mall strollers, boozy winos and cigarette subs. Our defeated hero exhales a murmur of despair with a smattering of doom: "That's not one. Nothing is so beautiful as spring flower unless it's a parking spot at Christmas time."
Eastward, away from the setting sun, A door opens and a woman waddling under packages, exits. "Maybe if I follow that woman. Follow, follow, follow. Don't look at me like that, lady. I'm not your husband." It's feed the car trunk time. It opens it's maw and devours the packages. He wishes it would eat the woman but she stands yanking her panty girdle down. His belch pollutes his cart as he watches the lady's officious buttockal sashay back into the mall.
"Bite me, fatass. Eat my dirty shorts you bitch," our hero whimpers. The flickering lights of the rent-a-cops go all blinky,blinky, blinky. "There they go... a vaingloriously frivolous attempt at order. Time to strip search some fool parked on a sidewalk and rip his guts out for wanting to spend money." One of the sunglass-covered eyes of the rent-a-cop stares into his eyes through his windshield, fear and panic set into his brain.
"Hey fellow, take our spot. We're going to park on the other side of the mall," the pimply-faced guard yells. Gears shift, tires spin, the transmission purrs through four gears and overdrive, a fine, smooth drift into place. True, no one has left and they are packed shoulder-to-shoulder inside, but parking has been achieved. He can shop. Christmas is saved. The conquering hero alights. The sun will rise. Even the radio burst forth in celebration -- Today we'll discover what the almighty dollar will be for! One more dawn. One more day. One day more.
Tyler Durden Pitches a Book Deal
(note: Tyler Durden is a character in the novel and movie FIGHT CLUB)
"Do you think putz-boy had the smarts to create soap from liposuction fat? He wrote Joe's lily-livered, weak-bladdered imitation of gutless invertebrates. That's what. I am Joe's creativity, screaming to get out of pee-stained trousers and fear-soaked shirts."
"We aren't rehashing Eve Black an' White, are we?" The Editor's eyes wandered over Tyler's black eye and bruised lips. His torn t-shirt revealed a smooth chest. Torn jeans and scuffed shit-kickers completed the slap-dash, hyper-masculine clothing and demeanor.
"And well we aren't! I most definitely aren't Eve's vagina. Neither am I dat pile-of-rugged-individualism Galt. Holy Fucking Jesus Christ did that fucking eunuch artiste fill his prune-like creator Rand with nonsense. He bamboozled her into confusing generations of pudgy, mamma's boys whose only aspirations are grandiose political pissing matches while resting their fat, doughy asses in rich-man's chairs. They actually believe that their deeds are as spunky and exciting as the Jello an' whipped cream they stuff into their wheezing, gluttonous gullets. Galt-like, real-men wannabees in male drag. Can't you just hear them? I am your man-meat talking. Giggle along with me, won't you?" Tyler paused as the editor raised his pen to object but stopped and didn't speak. It seemed like his thoughts wanted to get out but his mouth held them in. Strange for an editor to be so silent, even after I punched his face in once or twice, thought Tyler.
"You goin-to say something, limpdick? Come on, I've heard the excuses before. All that PC, weak knee-ed horseshit. You get your jollies by writing rejections while I have women riding my dick and getting ready to have my abortion. Call their writing shit like the shit it is. Don't call it what those pussies want to hear. I am Joe's spineless dick. Kick me in the balls and let them enjoy some bloody frenzy in their whipped cream next time you Jack the Beanstalk or flip the bean, or hide a salami, depending..."
"My authors adore and desire me." The editor interrupted, pressing his fingers inside his nose to stop the bleeding.
"You're tweeting like that twittified dork-wad who invented twitter, tweety-pie. You gotta create vicarious destruction, basement brawls, a soupcon of planned chaos and most definitely sport fucking once a week to clear up the acne on that big honker you rest those pince-nez on," he slapped his knee, yukking hard.
"You want me to publish a novel thrashing male ennui in 100,000 words?" the Editor cowered behind a binder half expecting a fist or a bookend or a paperweight to fly his way.
"Overthrow. Outmaneuver. Overwhelm. A Man's Guide To Being A Man, An Autobiography!" Tyler Durden's blue eyes twinkled, bewitching, a homoerotic come-hither, a straight-arrow gaze of profligate lust that said beat-me, beat-me hard, I can take it, I'm a man.
"And they say romance is dead," the editor muttered softly as he dipped the fountain pen in the blood from his broken nose and signed his name on the contract.
Are We There Yet?
I remember my strange childhood as a series of events like cartoon panels in a comic book flashback where each panel paints a different age, another meaningful vignette and rarely a pleasant self discovery.
I just left Sunday morning church service with Dad, Mum and my older bothers Biff and Buster when Doctor Tiffany Nunez, a woman of melon sized tits, plump booty and sycophantic male interns in bicycle tights climbed from that gargantuan hummer they used as a traveling gymnasium and whorehouse. The disgorged themselves like three cherub-face, chirpy-bright, cheery-smiled clowns from an old-time circus. Those three liked to woof, to hoot and holler like a trio of excited hyenas seeking freedom. Tiffany's spandex, Wonder Woman jersey did more than support her headlights, it let them bounces and flounces and I know for sure that if that fabric ever ripped, the earth would quake from the shock. As for her interns, the "boys" as I imagined she called them, flexed their muscle-bound physiques under wrestling tights. A belligerent smog of Old Spice and liniment emanated from the Hummer and fouled the air.
"Heigh-Ho, it's time for our weekly excursion to Uncle Felipe's Exercise Farm for a day of swimming and healthy communing with our physical bodies." Tiffany announced, stretching her arms out to please my Dad and piss-off my Mother. Her Interns did a "tada" behind her. Where are we? A stage? A church parking lot? Madame Hoo-Hah's pink palace of purple pussies and panting penises? I thought. Even at the tender young age of eleven, I new that I couldn't let such a display of overt boobery and overwrought masculinity go unchallenged. I yawned and gave reply.
"Ho-Hum, another day of weightlifting at Uncle Fallopian Tube's barnyard with Tiffany the Teutonic Titmouse and her playmates -- muscles-for-brains and absence-of-intelligent-life better known as the pervert brothers." I even impressed myself with that jaw-dropping, hellishly smart-assed back talk!
Dad smacked the back of my head, hard, twice.
"Leave the little creep home. All he wants is to read another book." Biff tugged his shirt, scratched his hairy chest and brought his fists together, posing and grimacing at me. Jeepers Quasimodo, I'd keep my thoughts to myself what with that pizza pie of testosterone-induced zits all over your face and your halitosis, I thought. Dad smacked me again for sneering and not listening. He lectured me while the parking lot emptied, explaining that strength training, gymnastics, and vitamins weren't perverted. Physical culture was good and a day in the sun would make me feel better.
Tiffany stood on the running board of the Hummer. "Now boys, we want all of you to grow up prime athletes," She chirped like a Stepford wife on happy pills. Buster leered at her ample cleavage. Lust drooled down his leg. Biff hid his stiffy with the church bulletin. Troglodytes! I pointed, laughed and heard myself saying.
"Good job Tiffany. Buster wants to poke your petunia patch and Biff wants a tutty-fuck from your silicone-inflated boobies. You got two erections for the price of one. Each erection attached to half a brain."
Tiffany gaped. Mom gasped. Oooops, I thought. Those words should have stayed in my mind, remained unsaid, never been voiced... at least on Sunday, just after church in the parking lot with your dad and mom standing nearby.
Dad planted his foot directly in my ass and I flew about three foot into the side of our car face first. Damn. He could kick a football 300 yards. My ass hurt real bad. He grabbed my ear and yanked me away from the car. Dad shook my ear so hard I thought it was coming off. I was doomed to be Van Gogh with pen and paper -- a one-eared novelist.
"For Shame! Squiggy William Pelletier! Quit acting like a precoscious little prick. You're lucky to be readin' all those books and wearin' those silly-assed sideburns and spiky hair. Now you apologize boy and let us go and enjoy our Sunday getting strong or I'll shave your stupid hairdo and take away your Rowling, your Proust, your Yeats, your Milton and especially that jerk, Grisham! Now apologize to your mother, your brothers and Tiffany!"
"I'm sorry!" I blubbered out with real tears of pain substituting for sincerity. I looked at my dad and imagined "rejected" written in large red magic marker on Dad's way-to-high-I'm-balding forehead. I hunched over and put on my best pout. A pen, a pen, my kingdom for a red pen, I thought. I resolved to become an editor that day, fulfilling my need to demean, to abase, to insult and to discourage all but those who met MY standards.
Even Chickens Dream of Success
Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a kindly chicken named Ralph who survived the bibliographical plagues of modern style, stream-of-thought, and second person. For those of you not included in the literary illuminati, that's like locusts, boils and fleas in ancient Egypt. This chicken survived the bugaboos of electric spelling, the hysterical blindness of punctuation czars, and the evisceration of friends and family critiques.
After waking his brood of egg-layers and stewers, Ralph The Chicken found the BLOGS and everything began to look up. Even his beak quit hurting from all that hunt and peck typing. Bloggers blogged. Correspondents commented. Gamers giggled. But Ralph The Chicken just chortled in reply. His book queries improved. His plot thickened. His chapters clarified characters. And, an agent approved. An Agent Approved! Publishing success was within the grasp (if he had hands and fingers). All Ralph needed was a publishing house.
But, my children as we all know, a kindly chicken is doomed to fail, fail every time. Oh think of the heartbreak of the novel unpublished, the novel unfinished, the novel unwritten, and the novel never-conceived. None of these could be as harsh as the heartbreak of psoriasis. Ooops, lost my train of thought for a moment.
None of these great tragedies can compare to that of Ralph The Chicken and his kindly efforts to join the literary hoi-polloi, the journalistic journeymen and authentically authoritarian authors. This chicken was doomed to fail, doomed never to be published, doomed, doomed, doomed. I say! DOOMED!
The final blow, the great right-hook from the void, the massive fall from grace came one fine summer day in a plain white envelope. It enclosed a simple letter. All it took was a dozen words: "Dear Ralph The Chicken, it's nothing but fowl droppings and chicken scratch." The massive hammer of fate, the anvil of acceptance, the quicksand of the literati, landed with a thud.
Ralph, the kindly chicken was so depressed that he did nothing for two days. Late the afternoon of the second day, Ralph the Chicken never heard the farmer's boot steps, the hulking shadow, the meat cleaver swinging down until it severed his chicken head from his chicken body. For a few, fateful seconds, Ralph watched his headless body twitching and jerking before he entered the void vis-a-vis nothing.
The moral of the story is, if you're a kindly chicken, stick to laying eggs and don't try to get famous by making chicken scratches on paper or the farmer might make you into a chicken pot pie, or maybe a succulent fricassee, or ckicken wings on football night.
3400 words more or less
FUTURES YET UNKNOWN
Ten Stories by Dave Fragments
*An Alien serial murderer and a furry detective with fleas.
*Murder on a world with altered humans.
*Disturbing apocalyptic visions *Monstrous dystopian societies.
*A man on trial for betraying the human race to robots.
*Devils, demons and ghosts.
*Survivors of a plague war.
*Cyborgs trying to be human.
*Six friends in a strange sinkhole.
*The truth about a world drowning in rain, without sun, without hope.
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