What’d I Do To You?

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

The last thing my father said to me was “Sharks don’t jump out of the water and bite people in the ass.” He was wrong.

The shark was about twelve feet long, and attached itself to my father’s posterior as he was air drumming to Weezer’s “Buddy Holly.” It yanked him off our aluminum skiff and, presumably, killed him. I say ‘presumably’ simply because when my father’s head washed up on shore, the next day, I racked my brain for hours trying to identify who could have possibly dismembered him, what with him having been dragged to the bottom of the ocean by a hammerhead shark. No. It was the shark.

I swore revenge. Once I had graduated from college, I would track down the beast and kill it. I began hanging around bars favored by old salts and investigated getting a hook for a hand. I also began drinking rum. Soon, I noticed that, as a theater major, my presence in school productions was diminishing. Local critics complained that the clattering of my peg leg made it impossible to clearly understand the dialogue in The Shadow Box.

Eventually, the sea beckoned. I dropped out of school and fitfully drove to Lake Ontario to destroy the moistened predator that had torn the heinie off’n my old man. Operating the accelerator was a chore, given my wooden tibia. Twice, I was asked to truncate my journey by those I had inadvertently run over. I was a man possessed.

And so I stand, on the shores of Lake Ontario, screaming for the cruel fish to reveal itself, my peg leg burrowing into the sand as I gesticulate. Wags comments that my shadow reveals to them the correct time. Still, tenacity is next to cleanliness.

Here come those damned kids and their dune buggy.

HP Lovecraft On Patrol

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

One morning, Howie Lovecraft was upset about something. He was often upset, about many things. Some of things were easy to identify. The people in his neighborhood upset him enormously. He didn’t like their food or their hair, by and large. Nor did he like looking at their clothes or hearing them speak.

Sometimes Howie got upset about strange things that lived in the river or out in the forest. These things were as old as the planet, itself. They secretly caused terrible things to happen, and they were so ugly that if you looked at them, you would go crazy. The only subject you could talk about for the rest of your life was how frightening they were.

Howie really didn’t like the production on the Hüsker Dü albums. He thought the band sounded flat and lifeless in the studio. He would tell everyone at Dick’s Books that the Hüsker Dü records were disappointing in comparison to their concerts.

Star Trek was a strange subject for Howie. He was obsessed with the show; he enjoyed wearing special costumes inspired by characters. Still, it was impossible to get him to say anything completely flattering about the science fiction drama. He was very critical of William Shatner’s acting and he possessed an unusual ability to locate plot holes. If he encountered other people who claimed to like Star Trek, particularly people who shared his enthusiasm for dressing up in costumes, he would address them in a secret language that only very few people could understand. Many became angry with Howie for doing this, and for constantly flinging questions at them and then interrupting when they attempted to answer. Someone broke Howie’s tricorder, once.

Howie would get very upset when his younger, but much larger, brother, Sparky, would demonstrate professional wrestling maneuvers using Howie as a subject. One summer day, Sparky did the airplane spin on Howie three times, and Howie refused to speak to anyone for a long time.

Once Howie and Spark were watching The Harlem Globetrotters on television. Howie had never heard of The Harlem Globetrotters, but, upon seeing them, he knew that he disliked them intensely. Sparky, it turns out, was huge fan of The Harlem Globetrotters, and he bet Howie that The Harlem Globetrotters would defeat their opponents thoroughly. The loser of the bet would have to convert to Catholicism.

Howie quickly became upset at both The Harlem Globetrotters’ undisguised rule breaking and their adversaries’ unpardonable gullibility. The Harlem Globetrotters threw confetti at their rivals; ran up into the stands in what was a clear violation of boundaries; and, at one point, brought a ladder onto the court to execute a complicated ruse.

True to his word, Howie angrily became Romish for several days, ceasing only after discovering that the Irishmen in his parish were cunningly assimilating into the population by declining to wear their trademark green curly shoes. He penned a letter to the governor.

Daddy O Werewolf

I wrote this one many years ago. I hope you like it.

He never spend 2 consecutive years in the same elementary school. Even kids who had never seen Russell had heard of him.

During 1st grade, he hyperventilated during any type of physical activity and bared his teeth at students who made fun of him.

In his 2nd attempt at 1st grade, he went to Our Lady Of Tranquility, where he wept openly during weekly Mass and shit his pants during kickball games. He once hurled racial epithets at the groundskeeper until the man beat Russell, badly.

He attended a special needs school. After a full day of one-on-one tutoring by graduate students who carried pepper spray, Russell would lurk underneath the jungle gym at the Memorial Park. His ugly thatch of blonde hair obscured his forehead. His tight sweatshirts shifted from muted yellow to pale purple, depending on the day, and he wore hideous white shoes, like his father

In college, Russell sported wraparound shades, a slicked-back ‘do and a security guard’s uniform modified to resemble SS garb. Russell hit the weights, took boxing lessons and wore a helmet when traveling from class to class.

He ‘secretly’ left flyers in the student union containing cranky, unpunctuated scribbling and a lot of music reviews. Nick Cave, Boyd Rice, Throbbing Gristle, Bauhaus, Wagner, Burzum, Siouxsie & The Banshees and the first two Velvet Underground albums were favorites.

He did not to speak to teachers, and refused to do homework.

One night, someone took a massive shit in Russell’s unlocked car while he was at the gym.

The next week, Russell posted a brutal review of a twenty-year-old Ramones record on the bulletin board, within which he swore brutal revenge.

Before things could escalate, he was expelled.

Later, Russell attempted to join the Army.

Child Labor Laws

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

The museum was dedicated to the history of labor and industry in New England. Their father had complained that it was leaning quietly, imperceptibly Marxist. Free admission and plenty of old Wobby flyers encased under glass.

Milton examined the photo on the wall. Black and white. A woman wearing a long white dress leaning against a terrifying machine that seemed to be a tangle of pipes and bars. She was missing two fingers on her right hand.

“I mean, I grant them that their choices were limited, but I still don’t understand why they stayed. It’s not like somebody had a gun to their heads,” Milton recited.

As he absorbed the picture’s details, he had created a pithy assessment of the situation. His father admired that quality.

Jeanette, his older sister, had her back to him. She was looking at the remnants of the ceramic pots and dishes that the mills had created over a hundred years ago.

“I mean, it’s not like someone had a gun to their heads,” Milton repeated.

“I heard you.”

He placed his fingertips on another black and white photo: immigrant Irish boys covered in grease and dirt, holding wrenches.

“I’m not immune to their situation,” Milton had softened his voice. Sometimes he could be too strident. He freely admitted it.

His sister nodded. She still had her back to him.

“You know me,” he said. “I’m opposed to slavery of any kind.”

“Oh, we’ve always admired that about you, Milton.”

HP Lovecraft’s Big Day!

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

-Refuse to enter Chinese laundry. Prevail upon those devils to slide my shirt through a slot in the door.

-Deny existence of maple syrup.

-Points To Ponder: Might The Azores be an alien lump fallen from space.

-Work on manuscript; investigate synonyms for ‘indescribable evil.”

-Bemoan new ‘hot jazz’ trend at Dick’s Books.

-Look for available women; have spats bleached.

-Eat dinner; likely spaghetti. Those swarthy ne’er-do wells have somehow found a winner with this one.

-Retire.

Cosplay

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

“Which one are you?”

“I’m Mr. Valentine, The USS Heinlein’s chief science officer.”

“So that means, you get a…”

“Blue shirt.”

“Blue shirt. Great. Right. OK. We’ve got small, medium…”

“I’ll take a large.”

“OK, one large blue Star Trek shirt with emblem.”

“Yep.”

“What else?”

“Can I get two extra extra large shirts for Captain Solo?”

“Han Solo? The Star Wars guy?”

“Well, no. Well, yeah. Phillip’s character, Captain Yetti Solo is a distant relative of Han Solo, but in the Roddenberryverse, as opposed…”

“…to the Star Wars universe.”

“…to the Lucasverse, right.”

“Well, Han Solo might be disappointed, because we are out of the mustard yellow shirts with the emblems on ‘em.”

“Oh.”

“You want a red one?”

“No!”

“What? What’s the matter with the red shirts?”

“Nothing’s wrong with them.”

“No, really. I can’t get rid of these damned things. The blue and yellow ones fly out the door. I can’t move these red shirts for losing. What is up?”

“Those are like the dumb guys who get eaten.”

“The guys who wear the red shirts are the dumb guys who get eaten?”

“Yes.”

“Do they know this before they join the red shirt club on the show or whatever this is?”

“…”

“Do the people with the blue shirts and the yellow shirts make fun of the red shirt people?”

“At the conventions?”

“Yes.”

“Yes.”

She Looks So Good. She’s Made Out Of Wood

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

Dad was hauling ass through the parking lot.

Every few seconds, his eyes would flick up to the rear view mirror. I was afraid he would run someone over.

“Just hang in there, Russell!”

Dad was shouting at my brother, who was pale and sweaty.

“Try not to vomit, Russell!”

As if receiving some signal, or perhaps hearing the magic word, Russell burst forth with gray and beige fluid, thick with pieces of pineapple. The foul brew splattered against the back of the driver’s seat like debris from an explosion.

“Aw fuck, Russell! C’mon!  You didn’t even try!”