Abortive Fiction

He stared at the mottled sky until his eyes glazed and thoughtlessness seized him. He allowed himself to float freely in the frost of his disassociation and the world to grow fainter. Before long, the gentle undercurrent of an afternoon breeze and the chatter and playful yells of summertime revelers were the only reminders of the world around him.

They walked at a brisk pace, each one carrying a bag or a tote full of drinks and finger food. It had been close to a year since the pandemic was deemed over, and they were eager to make the most of each seasonable day. The summer was proving to be particularly favorable for outdoor enjoyment; more than one person could be heard commenting on the goodliness of one god or another, or whatever force it was that they believed controlled the universe. One of the group had spied a lone patch of the field, and they all wormed their way through the gathered people. As they neared their chosen spot, one from the group cast a side glance at a man lying nearly spread eagle on the grass and staring into the sky. That one group member didn’t have a passing thought about that man; in less than a second, they had forgotten the man and were setting themself to enjoying the rest of their day.

15-Minute Fiction

His tweet was tactless. Maybe not offensive, but sufficiently annoying that Dre decided to block him from his feed. Dre didn’t even follow him; his tweet had been promoted by Twitter’s algorithms. Twitter had conspicuously inserted the tweet among others about the frailty of the modern republican system of government. But the moment Dre blocked the tweet’s originator, his Twitter application froze. Dre tapped the screen of his phone, at first with purpose but then with a dumbness reminiscent of an early homo poking at a new object. Dre was accustomed to his technology just working, and his phone’s failure to respond to his commands kindled a dormant frustration that boiled greater with every passing second of non-responsiveness. As Dre touched the various soft-keys that normally elicited an appropriate and satisfactory response, he realized that something more serious had transpired. His phone appeared bricked, and the culprit was a tweet, a blocked Twitter account, an account owned by Stephen King. Dre’s frustration broke momentarily as he considered the irony. A modern horror, Dre thought, caused by a modern horror writer. It felt suitable, nearly forgivable. But a true horror was never confined to the benign.

15-Minute Fiction

He stared at his coffee and swirled it around with the straw.
     “I was expecting more,” were the words coming from his girlfriend. It was a Monday and he was supposed to be at work, but he had allowed her to coax him away from it. She lifted up her purse and withdrew the ring. “This is it? This is all I’m worth?”
     “It’s a nice ring.”
     She didn’t say a word, simply held the ring in her hand as if offering it to him. He looked up at her.
     “I can get another, you know. It might take some time—”
     “I don’t want a-fucking-nother! I told you what I expected and you went and got this anyway. How stupid can you be?”
     There was a moment of silence and he looked away. Outside it began to rain.
     “It was too much.”
     “What do you mean it was too much? It was a simple request.”
     “Do you know how much work goes into getting one?” He looked back at her and tried to feign anger. “It’s not a simple matter. I have to find it first, then figure out the finances, then how—”
     “I don’t care what goes into it. Everyone has one and I’m not going to be left out. Just do it.”
     She put the ring back into her bag and began sliding out of the booth.
     “Bell, wait,” he said, reaching for her hand.
     “Don’t touch me. Don’t talk to me. Text me when you have it.” She flipped her hair and made her way for the door. Across the diner their waitress eyed them impassively.
     He watched her slip out the door into the overcast day, stopping momentarily to frown at the sky. She then dashed to her car while unlocking it with her remote key fob. Inside she drew out her phone and placed a call, exchanging some words before starting her car and pulling away.
     He sighed and looked back at his coffee, no longer steaming. He wasn’t going to get it; he didn’t want to. But he was stuck with her. It was now a question of how to remove her from the equation.

Forgotten Winter: The Untold History of the Russian Wolves’ Tragic End

The original New York Times article, published July 29, 1917 and buried amid other tales of woe.

The original New York Times article, published July 29, 1917, and buried among other tales of woe.

Lost in the history of man’s greatest global competition is the tragic fight and destruction of the Russian Wolves in the winter of 1916 and 1917. The only mention of their fate was a small article in the New York Times, published July 29, 1917, describing, in no vague terms, what was then considered to be the barbaric guerrilla warfare waged by the Wolves in defense of their homeland, and how the war between the Central Powers and the Allies was halted in order to end the nativist threat to their competitive jaunt through Europe.
     The First World War, affectionately called “The Great War” by its inheritors, was by the fall of 1916 nearing the end of its first half. It was during this period that the Allied Powers, captained by the Russian Empire, had finally managed to wrest the critically strategic yet amorphous region around Minsk, Belarus, from the Central Powers, then being led by the German Empire. Following the Russian Empires acquisition of this region, both they and the Germans fell into a stupor.
     While the war itself was fought along a vast European front, its outcome was ultimately determined by the localized battles fought by individual groupings of troops. Such was the case in what was to become known as the Kovno-Wilna-Minsk front, where the Germans and Russians vied for greater strategic footing in the landmasses of Eastern Europe. Today, the city of Kovno is called Kaunas and the city of Wilna/Wilno is called Vilnius, both in Lithuania. Minsk is still Minsk, Belarus.
     As “The Great War” raged across the Kovno-Wilna-Minsk front in the winter of 1916 and 1917, an unsuspecting local community found their homes being ransacked by the bored troops. These unwitting casualties were the Russian Wolf families who for centuries had called this ancient land their home.


Presumed range of Russian Wolf resistance during the Winter War of 1916–17
Key cities in the campaign for Eastern European domination, 1914–18


Presumed range of Russian Wolf resistance during the Winter War of 1916–17
Key cities in the campaign for Eastern European domination, 1914–18

     Most of what historians have been able to unearth about the Russian Wolves during this period has been drawn from verbally communicated stories from their remaining descendants. Because of the relative recency of the conflict—just under a century ago from the date of this writing—it is deemed that the verbal histories are accurate. It is also unlikely that there is any revisionist history involved as it is evident, based on extensive anthropological work done in the past few decades, that honesty was a central tenet of Russian Wolf culture.
     Russian Wolf life was rooted heavily in the gastronomy of the land, and over the centuries they had developed highly efficient tools and strategies to effectively take advantage of their local resources. By the time of “The Great War,” however, their lack of industrial infrastructure and their reliance on older technologies put them at a disadvantage when competing against the roving Huns and Ruskis. They were also entirely outnumbered; their culture revolved around nuclear families, each helmed by a paired patriarch and matriarch and supported by immediate family that generally numbered around 10–20 members. These families, colloquially called “packs,” were largely territorial, with each one staking claim to different areas of the region. To enforce these territorial claims, they developed complex methods of marking borders. The most common method was the use of scent markers, distilled or processed from the very same resources they used as foodstuffs. Verbal and visual signaling was also employed, but to a lesser extent.


     While verbal histories have proven adequate in expanding our knowledge of Russian Wolf culture, the same has not been true about what we know of their collective fight against man. To this end, historians have had to study German and Russian war maps of “The Great War’s” Kovno-Wilna-Minsk front. However, since hardly any mention is made of the Russian Wolves within those maps, historians have had to make unbiased suppositions from deductive research and analysis of the extant materials, looking for any unexplainable troop movements or seemingly arbitrary plays.
     It is known that during the summer and fall of 1916 the patriarchs and matriarchs of the various packs began organizing meetings in which resistance campaigns were discussed. The Russian and German combatants had reached a stalemate by that point, embracing a style of trench warfare that reflected their cultural life. It is unclear who, if anyone, took the lead in organizing the Wolf meetings, but by the winter of 1916 they began full-scale operations throughout their combined territory.


     Based on anecdotal evidence and salvaged correspondence from soldiers on the front, we now know that the first Wolf actions began in late October and early November. The Wolves had two key advantages in those early months of combat: first, the Russian and German troops were immobile and easily ambushed and flanked; second, said troops were unprepared for the cold winter. The Russian Wolves recognized these two distinct tactical advantages and, using the already established familial ties, sent a steady stream of small units into the trenches. While the overall campaign involved a mobile, almost roving strategy of constant pressure, the individual unit tactics embraced what would later be championed by Adolf Hitler in the Second World War as “Blitzkrieg”: fast, furious, and uncompromising.
     It is admittedly difficult to understand the rationale behind the overarching campaign movements as, at first glance, it looks haphazard. But as one begins to study the localized guerrilla tactics used—this is to say micro as opposed to macro—one can fully grasp the genius of the Russian Wolves’ campaign. Using their natural speed, stamina, and furor, they engaged in ingenious hit-and-run tactics all along the Kovno-Wilna-Minsk front, tangling with the entrenched Russian and German troops, tooth and nail.


Kovno-Wilno-Minsk front during the winter of 1916–17
Russian Empire lines   German Empire lines   Russian Wolf campaign strategy

     These continued small-scale attacks, aided by their familiarity with the geography of the front, led to early successes that left hundreds of Germans and Russians in bloody bits and pieces. As morale along the front plummeted at seeing the Wolves’ furious attacks and the consequent mangled bodies, troops began to debate whether it truly was undesirable to die by the bullet or the shell. One unidentified German officer captured the desperation in a communique sent to his superiors in December of 1916, simply writing: “There are fucking wolves eating us!”



     So effective was the Wolves’ guerrilla tactics, and so low was troop morale, that the German and Russian Empires finally called for a cease to their wrangling, uniting to plan a joint counterinsurgency effort. Their ultimate strategy was to unify their fronts into one long reinforced line supplemented with prototype German tanks, hindered only temporarily when traumatized troops from both Empires attempted to force their way into the safety of the few tanks available.
     But the unified German and Russian counteroffensive proved to be highly effective. Russian Wolves began falling in droves to the newly concentrated fire from machine guns and rifles, with tanks launching forward attacks which the Wolves were unable to counter. In a last ditch effort, the Wolves began sending their cubs to combat the tanks by attacking the wheels of the treads, apparently in attempts to disable the vehicles and force their occupants out. This generally proved futile, however, with most of the cubs being crushed, then shot.
     By February, with its warmer weather, the Russian Wolf offensive finally began to show signs of weakening. It was apparent that their numbers had been reduced greatly and their morale was almost non-existent, their attacks only occurring in the form of ravenous rages with little foresight put into them. Finally, the Russian Wolves dispersed in the face of overwhelming technological might, carried along with the retreating winter and never to regain their homeland.


Kovno-Wilno-Minsk front in the spring of 1917
Russian Empire lines   German Empire lines   Russian Wolf retreat strategy

     Still, the Russian Wolf winter resistance was not without long-lasting impact. It is now accepted that the Kovno-Wilna-Minsk front’s no-mans-land, originally thought to be a product of incessant bombing and shelling from both Empires, was in fact a product of Russian Wolf resistance. This is hotly disputed by the current governments in both Germany and Russia who seem remiss in admitting they were held back by what is still considered to be a primitive culture. German Chancellor Angela Merkel herself has contested the current understanding of the Russian Wolves’ campaign strategy.
     “Look at their movements. No one can say with any level of certitude that there was any method to it. It doesn’t even appear [the Russian Wolves] knew what the supposed ‘campaign strategy’ was,” she said in a press interview on August 9, 2013, bracketing “campaign strategy” in air quotes.

"Campaign Strategy" - Angela Merkel at a press interview, August 9, 2013

“Campaign Strategy” – Angela Merkel at a press interview, August 9, 2013

     One wonders if the great Russian Wolves would still be prevalent today if they had simply let the Germans and Russians complete their jaunt. You will notice that the historical maps in no way show the boundaries of their territory, such is the degree of indifference to their rightful claim to what is Lithuania and Belarus. Even today, these young nations refuse to acknowledge and respect the Russian Wolves’ long ancestry rooted to the lands of that Baltic region. The descendants of the Russian Wolves are now a marginalized minority, relegated to ever shrinking rural areas with few resources and even fewer prospects for work, unable to compete against cheap labor provided by more domesticated brethren.
     Fearing that to allow the Empires time would run the risk of there being one, clear winner, stronger than before and more difficult to defeat, the Russian Wolves waged a war to undermine both powers in their state of preoccupation and protect their homeland, a decision that ultimately proved to be fatally fateful.

This is not a Russian Wolf. It is a Finnish Wolf. And that is a Finnish Man.

This is not a Russian Wolf. It is a Finnish Wolf. And that is a Finnish Man.

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9E0DE3DD103BE03ABC4151DFB166838C609EDE (thank you /r/todayilearned)
– Google image search
– A shit ton of Wikipedia

Two Little Butt Cheeks Bouncing in the Grass

The only thing that hurt worse than his leg was knowing the box in his pocket had now been destroyed. Lee had carried it for the past two weeks with strict orders that it remain intact. Yet here he was, halfway to his destination, with a sore leg and a partially crushed box.
     Seeing that he could not run from his predicament, and not knowing what else to do, Lee took it upon himself to find a secure place to deposit the item. He settled on a cranny in a weathered wall, attempting to shove the box far enough for it to not be visible. But whatever was inside was too bulky, and, his curiosity piqued, Lee decided to open the container and inspect its contents.
     In it he found a small human figure—a homunculus, in fact—likely extracted from the womb of some helpless woman. Lee could tell, by the fact that it was only three inches tall and visibly emaciated, that it had been removed at an early stage of its development.
     A wave of terror passed over Lee. Extraction of a homunculus before it had completed its full gestation was a high crime, one punishable by forcibly reinserting the homunculus into the criminal’s body. Whether the homunculus was alive or dead did not matter; the purpose was to punish, not to save. When alive, as was usually the case, the homunculus would scream and flail while being shoved into the equally panicked criminal, with the homunculus either drowning in blood or being crushed between convulsing bone and muscle.
     And then the creature in Lee’s hand moved. First it shuddered, and as Lee raised it for a closer inspection he saw two piercing green eyes appear from behind closed lids. The little figure stared at him for only the briefest of moments before opening its mouth and emitting a shrill cry. Lee pulled his hand away from his face, terrified that the noise would attract attention, and as he did so the creature suddenly stood and dove off of his hand. Dropping to his knees, Lee desperately attempted to grab the fleeing creature, but to no avail. All he could see were two little butt cheeks bouncing about as it ran through the grass.

Height of an Era

In the beginning there was life. When asked to recount what it was like, he demurred, unable to bring up concrete memories. There were the phantoms of experience, lingering—fleeting—sensations of a bygone era, or the beginning of an era, or maybe it was the end. He could not know. But there once was life. Vibrant, abundant life, unrestrained and laughing, the kind only seen in a child. With the years, the color faded, no doubt a consequence of weathering: erosion, compaction, fracturing, melting, solidifying. He wondered, at times, whether that old life remained, but in a new form. Or if it was possible for something to be lost indefinitely, to leave a space permanently empty. That life had been present once; if not now lost, then it was morphed or hidden. Both, perhaps. They’d ask him again, where, where is that life, to which he would shrug, maybe walk away, maybe not. They might stand and watch, shrug as well and go about their day. Sometimes they’d chase after him, tap him on his shoulder, lock eyes with him, and, when he failed to say a word, move on, just like the others. Occasionally they’d grab him and keep repeating, life, life, life. He didn’t understand. He likely was unable to hear what they were saying, or see what they were seeing.
     They saw remnants of a different day, and seeing this, they prodded him, lightly, indiscernibly, and tried to put those pieces together. These seekers, they’d look as deep as they could, into a void only barely illuminated by the distant life. They’d say, there, there it is. do you see? see, there, there, and in the great glare of their own awe, their fabricated, faint glimmer of life would burst into a sun, suddenly illuminating the great void and allowing them to see. But that light was their own, a reflection of themselves, a projection of themselves as they once were, or might be. The void remained, a porous vessel now, just barely retaining what was presented to it.
     Sometimes a looker would pull back, say no. More often than not they said this right away. They saw the void and chose to remain distant. Others, seeing the void for what it was and knowing exactly what they saw, chose to fill it as befit them. Not like the awed suns, those desperate voices digging about blindly. These others knew what was there, reveled in the ability to play as they wished, to lull and to sway it, to infiltrate and toy with the remnants of that bygone life. He’d stand there and watch with his glazed eyes, trying to make sense of what was being done and how it was being done. Yet every time he had, or thought he had, a grasp of what was there, it would all slip between his fingers and fizzle away. The others, by then leaning back and fiddling their fingers about in the void, would smile something of a knowing smile, but maybe not. They’d say, hey now, relax, we’ve got the reins. just go along, don’t worry, which of course he didn’t. But he did. He did that day. The day before, he did and he didn’t. The day after was the same.
     They said that life was like a parabola: it started at the bottom, where you were born and pure, then slowly climbed until it reached a peak, somewhere in the muddled years of adulthood, then flowed back down to the other end, gone and pure. Yes, he said, it is all a parabola. But that parabola was just the fantasy that they’d unburden themselves of the climb’s detritus—enough to pick up the pieces of what had been shed at birth—and that maybe, just maybe, there would be life in the end as well.

Robert’s (silent T) Lot

A Trial

Robert (silent T) could not make heads or tails.
     “You said once, not long before but sometime recent, that you were headed out to the barn, the big barn, the one with gold eaves and silver awnings.”
     “Platinum,” Robert (silent T) reiterates.
     “Platinum what?” It’s the judge.
     “Does it matter?” asks Robert (silent T).
     “No it doesn’t matter. Let me ask again.”
     . . .
     “Ask what again?”
     “The question I asked before.” The judge stares.
     “Yes, but which question you asked before. You’ve asked many questions.”
     “I have. Why don’t you recall them?”
     “I never said I don’t recall; I said I don’t know which one you are referring to.”
     “And why is it that you cannot recall which one I am referring to, Robert (silent T)?”
     “I didn’t say I couldn’t recall—”
     “Recall what?”
     “What are you asking?”
     “I’m asking the questions, Robert (silent T).”

An Arrest

Robert (silent T) had been picked up.
     “You’re under arrest, Sir Mister not-so-gentlemanly Robert (silent T).”
     “For what?” Robert (silent T) knew why.
     “You know why.”
     “No I don’t.”
     They cuffed Robert (silent T).
     “Would you like your rights?” The officer asked this morosely.
     “My last?”
     The officer stared.
     Robert (silent T) grimaced, said, “I want a beer.”
     “Rights served.”
     Robert (silent T) was shoved into the cruiser.

A Toke

Robert (silent T) was high that day.
     “Why?” asks Bethany (silent ANY).
     “No sense. None. I know.” Robert (silent T) exhales.
     “But why.”
     “Are you dumb?”
     “Are you a misogynist?”
     “Are you daft?”
     “Quit repeating yourself, Robert (silent T).”
     “Don’t call me dumb.”
     “Where are you going?”
     “I’m going to the barn.”

No Turning Aloud

I stand at the corner of Wyatt and Earp, unable to decide on which street to take. I know that Wyatt will lead home; take me back to that which I feel so ambivalent about. To walk along Earp means the inevitable conclusion of our little saga, and this is something I am equally ambivalent about. I now wish to find a third option, one that does not involve returning from the direction I have come. I imagine this third option as stairs that climb up above the buildings in front of me. The stairs are made of stone—granite, to be specific—and do not have a banister on either side. They are, and have to be, wide enough for only one person to traverse it. Also, too narrow for any movement other than forward. I place a sign at the beginning that says, in very clear letters, “No Turning Aloud. All Turning Aloud Must Be Done before Ascension.”
     I don’t have the need to turn aloud, so I climb the stairs and watch as the streets below reach out to the horizons: Wyatt to the northwest, Earp to the northeast. From above, both streets look surprisingly lovely. So much so that I almost yearn for them.
     The stairs continue to ascend, and I along with them. Somewhere, there must be a plateau. This is where I will be able to stop and drink from the fountain; this is where I will rest and eat from the trees. But it is a long journey, so to preoccupy my mind, away from my tiring legs, I begin to whisper some poems.

     Eyes like skies,
     Spanning the world
          but oh so empty.

     I built these stairs
          to reach their depths,
     But the higher I go
          the emptier they seem.

     I stop for a moment and look carefully over the edge. I’m very removed from Wyatt and Earp street, yet I no longer yearn for either. My legs speak to me, and to quiet them I resume my walking.

     From afar,
     That which is separate
          looks fused.
     If I knew no better,
          as most don’t seem to do,
               then I’d turn back now,
     Only to find it remained separated
          all along.

     Here is the plateau, but it’s nothing but a parking lot. Jesus, how silly of me, I almost blurt aloud before catching myself. I step off the stairs and onto the plateau; this is where the divisions become evident, and I see my name scrawled lazily in one particular spot. I move to it, trying not to step on the other names, and take a seat. For a brief moment, truly the briefest of moments, I think I can feel the letters squirm under the weight of my bottom.
     “I must have killed my name.” I say this to no one, but perhaps the other names can hear. In fact, they must have heard, as all of the sudden they are inching away from me. I see desperation in their movements, and as each strains to distance itself, the names begin to unthread and unravel. In an attempt to calm the crawling names, I recite another poem.

     Our lives are like a perpetual inching
     We each pull back
          then push forward
     Hoping that along the way
          something will happen
          something will give
     And we won’t have to move anymore

     The names are now spilling off the edges of the plateau. They don’t make a sound as they tumble down, down to Wyatt and Earp streets. I wish I could hear them in their last.
 This gives rise to an idea. Since I can’t use the stairs anymore, I unravel my limp name and affix one end to a division. Then I let the other end fall over the edge and watch as it flails its way down as far as it can go. My name is not long enough, but I clamber down it nonetheless. As I do so, I listen for the fallen names. How do names die? Do they whimper? Do they cry? Perhaps they moan or laugh or scream or

A City’s Identity: Fixed or In Flux?

A city on its own does not have identity. Before it develops identity, it must provide the materials on which identity can be founded, these materials then being interpreted by perceivers. Created materials—the skeleton of a city—exert an unseen influence on these perceivers. Doing so excites their faculties, instilling in them the desire to imagine and order what is being presented. Every determination of the city’s identity is unique. For example, for some the city will be beauty and peace, while for others it will be squalor and chaos.
      Given the nature of the perceivers, however, not all of these determinations can exist concurrently. Here is where conflicts arise, forcing some perceivers into subjugation. Inflicting subjugation alone will not remove the longing for a particular determination. Just because the subjugated long, on the other hand, does not ensure that a determination will persist.
      Keeping such memories alive proves especially difficult when faced with efforts to purge this newly subjugated determination. Long before a subjugated determination can establish a foothold, it is generally routed and destroyed by the established subjugators. Most purging actions take the form of sardonic inquests, where the subjugated are asked numerous nonsensical questions. Next, the subjugated are tasked with defending their answers to these questions, many times leading to increasingly contradictory statements as the they struggle to survive.
      Oftentimes, some semblance of logic is born of these inquests, creating the peculiar case where the subjugator determination is brought into question by the subjugated. Pondering these new considerations reverses the dichotomy, whereby the subjugator becomes the subjugated, and a nascent determination, suddenly appearing sensible, becomes the intellectual foundation for a new subjugator. Quarreling in this manner helps, paradoxically, ensure that no determination remains constant, despite any efforts to maintain a uniform determination of the city’s identity.
      Routing of supposed subjugated determinations has become a matter of habit. So many determinations have come and gone, in fact, that it might even be argued that this infirm quality is itself the city’s identity. This argument also raises the question of whether a city, or any city for that matter, can truly have identity. Under such a system, it cannot be argued that there are any constants by which to derive meaning. Verily, as time and experience have shown, there are no other options by which to effect a lasting consensus. We now must face the reality that, in this system, all matters are subjective, coincidental, and/or arbitrary. Xenophobia prevents there being introduced any third, fourth, fifth, etc., determinations into this system, thereby creating an insulated form of governance, immune to change.
      Yet it is still believed that there must be a time when the system will be disrupted. Zoological data supports this hypothesis.

Shot again

He didn’t recall hearing a shot, nor actually feeling the bullet enter his chest, but he knew now. It had hit somewhere around his heart; obviously not his heart considering he was still alive, but it burned slightly and that made him uneasy. He got up and walked a few paces, testing his strength and the stength of the pain, trying to determine whether or not he could actually continue living. It appeared that he could, so his first inclination was to try and ignore the wound and go about his day normally. But he couldn’t really ignore the bullet hole. It was there, somewhere beside that most important organ, shifting around restlessly with his every movement, like an uncouth thought, a deprived desire that one tries to suppress in the back of their mind. It would kill him, this round, he was certain of it. At least if he did not seek help. But he nonethless delayed in reaching out to someone and alerting them to his peril. If someone had asked him why, afterwards, he wouldn’t have been able to explain. It was just something he did, perhaps born of his stubborness and his hope that maybe, if he ignored it, everything would be OK. But it wasn’t going to be OK. The wound became more and more apparent to him, leeching his life from him in minute steps. It was inexorable and he could feel its progression, its gradual movement from life to half-life and then to quarter-life. And then he knew it was time. Not for his family’s sake but for his own, because his imminent death began to frighten him. He was too young, only twenty-five, and he did not want to cease living. He wanted to move. It did not matter if he wasn’t moving in any particular direction, he just wanted to be able to move, to be free to feel the non-kinetic trials of life. He wanted to one day feel powerful and like a man, not a dead corpse that had tragically succumbed to its own obstinateness and stupidity. So he finally called his parents, warned them: “Parents, I die. Please save me.” They began to take the necessary steps to save him. They traveled to distant locations, full of hope, and reassured him that they would bring that hope to him. They made phone calls and spoke urgently. But their actions were slow. He called them again, and again, and again, but they ceased to answer. They were busy saving him, too busy to listen to his pleas. And for the first time the young man felt terror. It was a terror unlike he had ever felt before, one that caressed his face with a macabre sweetness and filled him with emotion. He tried phoning again, but no answer. He could feel the wound consuming him, swallowing him whole and threatening to leave nothing of him. He slouched back against the wall of the mansion, crying to himself: “I don’t want to die. Please don’t let me die.” Only the wound spoke back: “Tough shit stupid boy. You had your chance.” And it continued to swallow him, happily spreading its fear and its animal nature into the young man’s brain, fluttering his heart so greatly that he thought it might catch the bullet and end it sooner. He was on the verge of panic: “I don’t want to die.” He called again but his parents were still to distant, still too preoccupied. He thought of his sister, and of his mother and father, of how they loved him and he them. Of how he was dying alone in this luxurious setting, a strong young body brought to naught. He coudn’t move now, his body limp and useless. Only the wound pulsated, continued to swallow. And as it finally sucked the last few breaths of his terrified life, he slumped forward and disappeared.


For the Intermittent Writer


Short books about albums. Published by Bloomsbury.

The Wink

This Week in Kink