Living the Good LifeIt's good to be a mechanic. There isn't much gas being refined anymore, except in a few places, so the only people who come through are either real rich or fucking crazy. The rich ones are good because you can get a lot from them. The crazy ones are good because they talk to one another, and pretty soon every cannibal for a hundred miles knows not to chop you up.Sometimes there are problems. People think they can muscle you, y'know. They'll ask for a breaker bar or they'll demand that you come with them and maintain their convoy. But I'm always firm; they won't kill a mechanic, no matter how wacko they are. It's impossible to rebuild a transmission if you don't know what the fuck you're doing, I'll tell you that much. But if they get real uppity, start waving machetes around and the like, I'm pretty quick with a pistol.Of course, having a shop you can't just up and move off every time the locusts pass through or chlorinated rain starts coming down. God only knows how many times I've
The ShamanYou may find her in the ancient forests, her home built into the face of a redwood, though sometimes she resides in a net over the edge of a waterfall. She is a young and beautiful woman, and in the moonlight she dances naked among swirling clouds of multicolored sand.One short incantation whispered into your ear will change your life. She has created and destroyed empires. She has granted eternal life and she has reduced some into horrid aberrations. It is impossible to tell whether you will be among the blessed or the victims until far too late.If you go to her, beware one more truth. The Shaman is not easily fooled, and if she learns of any deception on your part she will never forgive. You will be hunted to the ends of the earth by those she has helped. Some have eluded her agents for years. None have met a peaceful death.And remember, you must love the Shaman as you love God. As you love your mother. As you love your wife. Anything less and you are a slave. Go now, and good luc
Black Peter (Christmas Special!)When the fourth Christmas in a row came and went with no presents present beneath our tree, my dad drove me to the North Pole. We made the trip in his green Pontiac station wagon, trekking first by normal highway to the Yukon and then through the ancient path of Candycane Lane. My dad knew the ritual that took Candycane Lane from the place between places to our own existential plane, you see, and with one long Norse recitation and a dead goat he opened the way to Santa’s palace.I’m not sure why dad took me across those eternal barren wastes. I’m certain he could have just contented himself with telling me there was no Santa and buying his kid the presents on his own dime, like most parents. He said it was a matter of principle. Mom said he was cheap. I think it was some combination thereof.The palace emerged from ice fog after exactly half of our gas had been expended—no one could be stranded in the place between places. It was a Gothic masterpiece, polished b
The First ManThe snow hasn’t melted for six years now. Until one recent morning, I hadn’t seen any sign of another living soul in months.It was a gangly looking figure, struggling through the snowdrifts. I wouldn’t have even seen it had I not gone up to dig out the second bunker for supplies. Making sure I could find my way back with the radio positioner, I decided to follow it. The last time I had met someone out here, I’d had a lover for several days. Perhaps I would be so fortunate again.On skis I quickly caught up to the walker. She was in her forties, with the thousand-yard-stare of a permanent wanderer looking out from her balaclava. I asked her to come to my bunker for a while.“I can’t. Not without him.” She pointed ahead.Once again, in flurrying snow was a human form, trudging along, obviously wearing snowshoes. So I sped along to this person, my heart bouncing around in my chest. Two people! Two people in one day! I thought of the great meals w
DroppedAn alien who insisted his given name was Gilgamesh gave me a time machine the other day. It was a little yellow egg, no larger than my fist, adorned with near-microscopic depictions of battles and ancient space monsters and other fascinating fantasies.First I used it to go back a week, just to see if it really worked, to order a grilled cheese at this restaurant where I had originally bought a burger. I avoided indigestion, but my head started to hurt when I realized my past self was nowhere to be found.I went to my own birth and couldn’t find my parents at the hospital. It turned out they were at home, my mother quite skinny and beautiful, not haggard and heavily pregnant as dusty photographs had led me to believe. They were very nice people back then. I wonder why they ever evolved to be so malicious later on.I no longer existed, except as a strange and hazy figure out of place. But when I returned to the present, nothing had changed. My girlfriend hadn’t even noticed
InterrogationThree days of rain had come to an end; Jeff Kuhn's boots squelched in the grass of a backyard on the north end. He paused a moment when the porch light sensed he and Talobor Pavlevic's movement. Talobor, who they called "Ludilo" behind his back, was an enormous man with a square head and a broad chest, the typical Bosnian track-suit wearing gangster. Jeff hated the nine-mil toting psychopath.Clear sky, blinking aircraft lights motoring between the stars. It was a good night for a fire, like a family down the street. A good night to go to the trailer park and find a party, or maybe head to the bar with dad and patch things up. Instead he and Talobor were out to solve the mystery of who put two bullets in Andre's brain. And somehow he had to find evidence that pointed anywhere but at himself.This was one of those nights he desperately wished for a regular job.Talobor made a face that told Jeff to get moving, so he did. The way up and across the porch Kuhn thought angrily, eat shit.
4242: Fundamental LawsHeld in place by enormous steel couplers, the General Esteban Navarro dwarfed every explorer, medical transport, and freight slinger on the station docks. It was big enough, Ramon Galvez figured looking up at its nose from a port bar, that oncoming traffic could see it from a thousand miles away. He puffed on a cigarette and drank overpriced beer from one of those odd hourglass pints that were so popular in these places.It was a hell of a ship, yessir. A little less than a kilometer long, though to be fair most of that length was made up by the strange matter drive. Bristling with laser cannons and rail guns and missile launchers and mine layers that weren't a hell of a lot of use unless you had somewhere real nice to hide. Ramon stubbed out his smoke in the ashtray, with more force than he intended.The strange character who sat across the table noted Ramon's frustration. A tall, rugged human in his forties, the man had sat watching the Navarro's captain wordlessly and with obvious a
Two AM, At A PlaygroundThe streets all slick with rain reminded him of a hazy digital painting, the lights in their puddles formed with exaggerated, unpolished brush strokes. A half-dozen men and women in front of the bar, all lit up by the big white light hanging over the bouncer, formed the only distinct part of the scene. He wished he knew how to paint the things he saw.Standing beneath a playground, he looked miserable and out of place. The loaded revolver in his right hand looked more like a child's toy in this setting. What a place for a skid bar like that, he thought, just across the street from an elementary school. Tomorrow if all went as planned the kids who played on these swings and platforms would be stuck behind yellow tape, their vacation place home to grisly murder.Murder as committed by Jeff Kuhn, a man who played the part of a lost high school graduate far better than that of a hitman.Nearly ten to two. The greasy biker son of a bitch would be coming out any minute, dragged drunkenly alo
Early WinterDeath drives a green Packard. Depression era, with modern bumper stickers and parking tickets which, if you look closely, were written out by Hammurabi. I met him once, he’d pulled up outside my house and hopped out for a smoke break on the street. He looked like he didn’t have anything to do when, far as I know, somebody dies once every few seconds, somewhere. I went outside and asked him who he was after."You. But not for a while. Y’know Arnold Rothstein got shot just three blocks from here?""I thought he was killed in New York. Definitely in America.""Who you gonna believe?"Death flicked his smoke to the asphalt and crushed it with a casual twist of his purple dress shoe. Then he drove off, leaving me feeling a little melancholy and a little drained. Never could get the hang of snow in October.
Silver Sea of DestinySilver Sea of Destiny 1/26/15So I wished to take her away from those golden fields.And bring her to the silver sea of destiny.Would she let me comfort her?Would she allow me to dry her tears?She reluctantly agreed to my heartfelt plea.And I whisked her away hoping to keep her pain at bay.We arrived on the shore and the silver moon was smiling.I knew deep down this would not be easy.But nothing worthwhile ever is.I embraced her tightly for I had no words.Her will was broken and her golden hair was in shambles.How could I fix what the world had done?How could I erase the damage incurred?So we sat on the beach and watched the ocean.And we talked of the past and the hurt that transpired.I held her hand and prayed for relief.She opened up and the floodgates appeared.I took my chance and showed my heart.I could not stand by and watch her suffer,I knew this place healed many before.Would it be enough to be her cure?The rising sun was ever closer.I listened intentl
Un tesoro escondidoManuel estaba tranquilamente recostado en el sillón cuando la entrada se abrió de golpe, haciendo que se parase de un brinco y viera al argentino con una tremenda sonrisa en la cara y respirando agitado.-¡Che, te tengo un juego!Y así empezó su “calvario”.Al chileno no le desagradaba su vecino, simplemente lo detestaba sutilmente y lo escondía en aquellas invitaciones para ver el partido juntos, donde casi siempre terminaba él perdiendo. Pero a pesar de eso lo hacía porque, como vecinos, Manuel sentía que en algo debían compartir, ya que en una cita, en un spa o incluso en una cama (invitaciones de Martín) él jamás aceptaría.-¿No estaí grandecito?-Pibito, es un juego regroso como yo, vite. Te cuento.-Pero no vei que estoy ocupa'o.Martín dio un vistazo por aquella habitación donde la tele estaba apagada y solo veía a un chileno recostado en lo largo del sillón.Con un bu
The Weight of YouI want to feel your weightpress against meuntil my ribs begin to crack.I need assuranceof the reality of yoursolidness.Fearfully I wait for youto dissolve through myfingertips like a lifting fog.So I crave to be crushedbeneath you until the veryair escapes my lungsand I struggle to draw breath.I will know then thatyou are living fleshand not some phantom dreambut something which I cansink my teeth into,grasp within my handswithout fear of findingnothing but empty space.
A salvo contigo 5Manuel se levantó y se metió a la ducha.Cuando Martín regresó a la habitación con la intención de ver si aún dormía, encontró al chileno vistiendo solo una remera de los bunkers y su bóxer. Considerando que Manuel tenía una piel bastante suave y la remera le quedaba algo grande, Martín casi sufre de derrame nasal de no ser porque Manuel lo encontró parado en la puerta y le lanzó la almohada argentina en su cara.-Hueon, porfa no hagai una guerra de banderas que tengo ya muchas hueas sin espacio por culpa del Arthur - le dijo, mientras se terminaba de secar el pelo con la toalla.-Admití que mi bandera es regrosa - dijo Martín, ofendido, mostrándole al chileno el sol de su patria -. Che, así te veo mientras duermes - agregó, con una sonrisa.-No es por nah pero igual como que ese sol tiene una cara de pervertido.-No jodas, es un sol regroso como yo. Además... sol y estrella siempre se h
my seasonsto me,you were spring,a bird taking to wing,new life, hope, love,the best friend i could think of.you were summer,a flower to discover,beauty, sweet scent on the air,so much more than curly hair.you were autumn,a voice nearly forgotten,though still present in colour,yellows, reds, warm as a lover.you were wintera fire died down to a cinder,and there it will linger,until, maybe, possibly, we talk, add tinder.
Bestowed With Your ProtectionIf storm clouds gather overhead,Would you offer me the shelterOf your sleek, black umbrella?If you'd invite me to share someShelter, is there a possibilityYou would like to protect me?There's only one way to find out...
Love Poem, or: Fuck You, Pablo NerudaEmily is so prettyThat when other chicks are around herThey burst into big stinky bagsOf horse poop.At least as far as I'm concerned.They might still be alive.But fuck 'em.
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