All Stories, Editor Picks, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Week 341: Where Have All the Disposable Ensigns Gone and Results From the Great Cat Division of the Feline Olympics

Three or four years ago I gave up on network television for the sake of my safety. It doesn’t mean that I have departed from gazing glassy-eyed into a screen, but nowadays I feed the vacuum in my mind caused by a lifetime of watching TV with YouTube and NetFlix. The TV is still on, but in the other room, tuned to one of those retro-channels, to long since departed shows, which star dead actors who come back to life for twenty-three to forty-six minutes five days a week, in worlds where forever usually arrives no later than 1982.

The main reason for this involves the Discovery Channel and its spin-offs on basic cable. For years my general sense of fear and isolation was greatly enhanced by an endless succession of learned talking heads who glibly informed me what would happen to Earth if it wandered too close to a black hole or was bathed in a gamma ray burst or nailed by an asteroid the size of Cincinnati. And none of it was pretty. End of Days. Repent. I was more distrubed, however, by the smarmy attitude of the scientists who spoke of these possible calamities with twinkles in their eyes. Why were they so happy to suggest these things? Isn’t everyday living hard enough already? Are these people sociopaths? And how come they all wear khaki pants and blue shirts? Even Victor Frankenstien owned a tie.

Continue reading “Week 341: Where Have All the Disposable Ensigns Gone and Results From the Great Cat Division of the Feline Olympics”
All Stories, Short Fiction

339- Secret Rooms, Incidental Blonde Bashing and Results From the Tiny Wildcat Division at the Feline Olympics

Hugh is on a well earned holiday this week. This leaves me alone in a room, thinking of what to do for Week 339 at 3:56 A.M. on a Thursday morning.

The cursor is blinking, and my mind is its usual unsteady and fearful self. Writing is like life, I go from here to there and make it up on the spot, then return to edit the mistakes later.

Yet there are always some things I miss and never fix. For instance, the fatuous simile in the previous paragraph.

Anyway…

When I was a child we lived in a house that had secret rooms. Actually, the secret rooms were crawl spaces above the eaves–one at each side of the attic, accessed through pull out shelves. Only persons the size of your standard six-year-old (or so) could move around comfortably in the crawl spaces; only persons of six (or so) have enough imagination to consider the places the Christmas decorations wind up secret rooms.

Continue reading “339- Secret Rooms, Incidental Blonde Bashing and Results From the Tiny Wildcat Division at the Feline Olympics”
Short Fiction

Week 334: Little Toughs, A Kvetch, Good Stories and an Extra Helping of Frederick K. Foote

Little Toughs

My football-shaped black cat, Dudley, has been assassinating my left ankle again. He is an irresistible little thug who takes “No” poorly. “No, Dud, I’d rather you not shred the new sofa.” “Um, no Dud, you may not go outside and fight with the crows.” He can hold a grudge longer than a Catholic funeral; and has the sort of personality that would drop a nuke to end a snowball fight.

Continue reading “Week 334: Little Toughs, A Kvetch, Good Stories and an Extra Helping of Frederick K. Foote”
Short Fiction

Week 330: Fear and Recreational Violence

Fear

I’m afraid of heights, close places, and small talk with strangers. This makes me a crummy candidate for riding in planes. Which is fine because I’ve only been on one air trip in my life, and I will never do it again. I’ll go by car, rail or ship first. Hell, I’ll walk, if it comes to that. A friend once told me that air travel is statistically much safer than going by sea. She also reminded me that I cannot swim. I retorted that I may learn how to swim anytime I please, but that my prospects for self propelled controlled flight are limited.

Excellent questions usually attract poor answers. For instance “Why do some people joyously skydive and bungee jump, while others clutch the sides of their chairs until the blood has left their knuckles just contemplating those activities?” I usually reply to something like that with “You never hear about anyone leaving a crater after she falls off a barstool, right?” Yet, later on, when doomed to spending time with my own thoughts, I wonder why I am afraid of the devil may care aspect of life.

Continue reading “Week 330: Fear and Recreational Violence”
All Stories, Fantasy

Everyday I Ro Ro Ro in Zee Hay by Leila Allison and Daisy the Pygmy Goat

A.M.I. (Adverb Mass Index): 45.74% (last reading, till it blew)

8 December

James Thrurber’s Birthday

I was at my desk avoiding my latest work of innovative genius by attempting to see the world the way James Thurber must have–with one eye shut and the other peering through a monocle devised from the punt of an unwashed pint. A childhood accident blinded Thurber in one eye; soon after sympathetic ophthalmia set in and slowly drained the light from the other. Yet before darkness fell for keeps, Thurber became almost as well known as a cartoonist as he was a writer.

Continue reading “Everyday I Ro Ro Ro in Zee Hay by Leila Allison and Daisy the Pygmy Goat”
General Fiction, Short Fiction

Only a Jellyfish Would Live Forever by Leila Allison

The Scenario: Part I 

He crushed two pills between his teeth and swallowed. That made four in an hour. A stomach that wanted to stay alive would have objected; but for once there was consensus. He believed that two more similar doses within the next thirty minutes should punch his ticket to the Undiscovered Country. Perhaps such an important event as flirting with self destruction should come accompanied by an unfilched metaphor, but when in doubt go with Shakespeare–Besides he’d used up all the sparklers in his suicide note. It was a fine suicide note. Well written, streaked with effortless pathos and humor. It was the best thing he had ever written. “All show, no tell,” he’d said after lighting it on fire and watching it curl to black in the kitchen sink.  “Best punched ticket ever.”

Continue reading “Only a Jellyfish Would Live Forever by Leila Allison”

All Stories, General Fiction

God Bless You, Boots the Impaler by Leila Allison

In memory of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

******

(No semicolons were abused during this production; in fact, the one to your immediate left is the only one employed by the author in this piece, and its necessity is a matter of debate.)

******

(No one said anything about the omission of colons: *Try producing shit without one.)

******

(*Use of the oldest scatalogical punctuation mark joke in the English language is protected by the false concept called “Free Speech.”)

****** Continue reading “God Bless You, Boots the Impaler by Leila Allison”

All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

Fear and Loathing Amongst the Ducks of the Serengeti (or,  Coup D’etat Foie Gras) (In memory of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson) by Leila Allison

Last night I dreamt of the happy-clappy pixie-land extolled by the counterculture of yore. That hippie Eden where daisies shot from rifles because everyone there was so high on lysergic acid that they no longer experienced reality. It was a place populated by paisley-eyed toad kissers who honestly believed that they were the first generation of paisley-eyed toad kissers who knew that the world sucked and that they alone could kiss toads into The Gurus of Change. Viva Revolucion! Alas, psychedelic drugs and fairy tale-belief systems are the stuff of idealistic chimeras. It all eventually wears off and leaves you cold and cynical. By and by you come to the hideous conclusions that the Good Guys never stay good after they win the Revolution, and that every toad you kiss has a way of changing into Richard Nixon.

Continue reading “Fear and Loathing Amongst the Ducks of the Serengeti (or,  Coup D’etat Foie Gras) (In memory of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson) by Leila Allison”

All Stories, General Fiction

Olivia and the Oraclespector: A Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical by Leila Allison

But First, More Prefatory Gibberish by Miss Stoker-Belle

As any intelligent person can see, I do not control what is said about me in the bold-face heading. In a rare moment of forgetfulness, I had overlooked demanding approval of the heading’s content upon graciously consenting to present the Feeble Fable introductions. This tiny oversight forces me to spend the first paragraph or two of my introductions refuting the bold-faced insults laid on me by my employer, the semi-sentient, Ms. Allison.

Continue reading “Olivia and the Oraclespector: A Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical by Leila Allison”

All Stories, General Fiction

Never Come Home by Tom Sheehan

 The cold, not a storm loaded with snow, but the cold in burrowing waves, came sweeping down the valley just north of the Yalu River. Vatcher Sexton McKee, sergeant of infantry, as cold as he’d ever been in his life, could not hold the pencil in his hand. He’d already broken the lead point three times, but only worried about handling the rifle, managing the trigger when called upon, his latest letter home to be finished at an hour less demanding.

Continue reading “Never Come Home by Tom Sheehan”