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Monday, August 27, 2012

THE TOWN PAGENTcopyright2012 m.s.


He was tall, very tall, the man they called Gerin. He stood at the exit of the train cart and glanced over at several corners of the train station. He was mustached, balding on top, hair parted in a ridiculous school boy fashion. His face showed of a man very serious and stern. His suit was a bland gray with a fat blue tie that most definitely didn't match.

Gerin was confused. He was standing at the exit of the train station, not really sure why he was there. Or why he was traveling at all. He remembered almost nothing about his past, knew nothing of his future. He only knew he needed to reach the town of Vandy.

A young man in a white tunic and pale green slacks was handing out pamphlets. He saw Gerin and noticed Gerin looked lost. The pamphlets in the young man's hands revealed a doctrine of that Jesus would return to earth and all would be right. It also had a piece of scripture about stocking up on food and weapons that would help Jesus in his last crusade. On the cover of pamphlet a black and white drawing of Jesus in a cape and tights destroying the white house with laser beams shooting from his fingertips.

“I think I should give this to you,” The young man said to Gerin.

Gerin barely made a noise. Without actually looking at the young man, he took the pamphlet.
“Thank you----” Gerin smiled when he moved his eyes to the pamphlet. Gerin looked at the young man, “Yes,” He said. “Very insightful, indeed.”

“You look lost, Mister,” The young man said. “Jesus, our Lord and savior, champion of the universe, will take good care of all his children---”
The young man trembled when their eyes met. He saw Gerin no longer had pupils in his eyes, but a milky black void.

The young man dropped the pamphlets to the floor of the train station, all of them falling under the shoes of other travelers. He backed away slowly at first. Then turned and ran as fast as he could.

Gerin found a cab parked a few feet away from the newsstand behind the train station. The only cab not bothered by anyone. He walked up to the cab, opened the door to the left rider's side and slid in on
the noisiest vinyl covering he'd ever came across.

The cab driver was in the middle of his lunch. A messy hamburger where the sauce sat comfortably on his chin. “I'm not on duty,” The Cabbie said, his mouth spitting out chewed bun on his shirt. He casually wiped it off. He was looking at Gerin in the rear view mirror.

Gerin sighed. “Look I need a ride into Vandy. I'll pay double the rate.”

The Cabbie finished his burger in one swallow. When he was done, he laughed. “My God, friend. No one ride's into Vandy. Not the least it's a good fifty-six miles from this train station. It's also the most boring town in America.”

“As you say, sir, I need the ride. It includes the tip.” Gerin avoided the Cabbie's gaze in the mirror.

“It would have to, friend. On top of the fare and double the rate.” He started the engine and the cab coughed and spat out a dark cloud of fumes that nearly choked Gerin to death. “And away we go.” The Cabbie said in a sing-song voice. A few miles down a road that took them across a hill of green grass and cows with eyes the color of the black hole. Still, Gerin would not look his driver in the eyes. This annoyed the Cab driver to no ends.

“For you to pay this amount of money, not rent a car, must be pretty important to go to Vandy.” The Cabbie said.

Gerin thought a moment. He kept his eyes on the scenery. “Yes, I suppose it must be.” He retorted.

The Cabbie waited a few minutes. He laughed, looked in the rear view mirror. “Why the hell didn't you rent a car, friend?”

Gerin breathed through flared nostrils. “I can't drive,” He said.

“You're kiddin', at your age?” The Cabbie turned around briefly to see Gerrin's reaction.
“Business there?”

Gerrin thought again. His eyebrows lowered. “I'm not not sure why I'm going there.” He said. He saw a pair of confused eyes in the rear view mirror. He looked away. “Yes. Business.”

The Cabbie felt the iciness of Gerin's voice. He shrugged, said, “I don't care what you do.”

The ride was a long one for both driver and rider. Still, almost any conversation would end with a false start. The jazz that came from the radio annoyed both, so it would get switched off several times. Gerin nearly fell asleep staring out the window a number of times. He wasn't sure, but he felt whenever his eyes were getting, so too was the Cabbie's, as the car would jerk back and forth on the road between lanes.

In two hours by the back roads, they reached Vandy. The cab pulled into a town reminiscent of white picket fences and clean roads, the stuff only existing in most minds in TV land.

The Cabbie seemed to get excited. “Man, I haven't been here in years.”

The cab pulled into the parking lot of the only hotel in town. Gerin paid the Cabbie, the stack of bills rested in the palm of his hands, then rolled them up in rubber bands and placed them in a cigar box under his seat.

“Hey, you have nice visit, mister,” The Cabbie turned to Gerin, who had already slammed the door to the cab.

Gerin walked into the lobby. A group of elderly people dressed in black parted in the middle for him to pass. He stood at the desk, waiting for the two clerks to acknowledge him. One clerk, a woman with dyed black hair fashioned in a bee hive looked at Gerin as if she'd seen the taxman at her doorstep. The other clerk, a man dressed in a black tuxedo, had eyes that bugged out of his head and was constantly blinking.

“Excuse me,” Gerin said. “Could I have some service, or do you have to be a member?”

They exchanged looks. But the male clerk stepped forward. He blinked twice, said in a high pitched voice, “Very droll, sir.”

“I'd like a room,” Gerin said.

They exchanged looks. Whispers came from the circle of elderly people. The male clerk twice. “I'm afraid I haven't any rooms available, sir.” He blinked twice more.

“Oh, no,” Gerin gave a tug at the lips of what resembled a smile, but could also have been gas. “There are very few vehicles in the parking lot. This, what I believe, is the only hotel in town.”

“That matters not,” He blinked twice. “The parking extends down the street, sir. We have a town pageant, sir. Folks from the adjoining counties are also here for the occasion.” He blinked twice more.

“I was not aware there was holiday--”

“Good day,sir.” He blinked twice, went back to the female clerk and their conversation.

Gerin was dumbfounded. He'd never experienced such rudeness. As he left the hotel, he glanced back. The circle of elderly folk were staring, one lady had her head bowed, mumbling a prayer.

Gerin had no idea where to go next. He decided to walk toward the courthouse. In a long row of houses he'd seen a cafe in the tradition of a malt shop. He'd passed a drugstore where four men, dressed in black and blue suits, sat in rocking chairs.

“Excuse me, gentlemen,” Gerin stepped toward them. They exchanged uneasy looks. “Could any of you point me in the direction of a bed and breakfast.”

“What in the hell would you want with a bed and breakfast room,” One of them said in a shocked voice.

“That's a silly question,” Gerin fired back.

“I'll tell you, son, but I don't think Halley will give you a room.” Another said, stubbed out his cigar.

“Why wouldn't she rent me a room?” Gerin was exasperated.

They exchanged looks.

The third man sighed. He stood, pointed. “Go a ways two blocks up this road. You see a sign for Lafferty Ave. Take that. The third house on the left. You'll know her house, she's got a sign that says Halley's place.”

“How convenient,” Gerin said sarcastically.”Thank you, gentlemen.” He walked away knowing they were staring at him.

Gerin knocked on the door of a quaint two story house that was painted powder blue. The curtains in the front room moved slightly, placed back carefully. The door opened and a woman in her early fifties, dressed in black, appeared smiling.

“Yes?” She said in broken English. She focused her eyes on the man standing at her door and her breath exited her body uneasily. She stepped back and tried to close the front door.

“Wait!” Gerin caught the door with a hand. “Please! I'm only here for a room.”

They struggled with the door, the woman finally winning the battle. “I have no rooms left!” She screamed and slammed the door shut.

Gerin walked away, running a hand across an exasperated face. “I only want a lodging for the night,” He said to no one in particular.

“What's a matter, friend? Can't get a place to stay?” Gerin looked up and it was the Cabbie who brought him to town.

Gerin smiled slightly. “It seems I rub people the wrong way,” He walked up to the cab that was idling in the street. He leaned in, resting his arm on the side mirror. “You haven't left yet?”

“Naw, I'm enjoying this place. People are friendly...well, to me. Food here is wonderful. Gee, mister, I don't know what you did to these people, but they treat me like a king.” The Cabbie thought a second. He slapped his hand on the steering wheel. “I got! Come with me and I'll get you some food and a room.”

Gerrin was more than willing. Like a child who'd received the best Christmas present ever, he giggled as he jumped in the backseat of the cab.

An hour later, Cabbie and Gerin was parked along a curb by the empty school grounds.
Gerin was slumped over in the backseat with his hand casually draped over his face. The Cabbie fiddled with the car radio. Neither was saying much. Cabbie couldn't stay quiet for long.

“Like I said, I don't know what you did to these people---” Cabbie said, almost in a whisper.

“I didn't do anything to these---oh, hell with it.” Gerin kicked the backseat.

“You want me to take you back to the train station---say...where are you from?”

Gerin sighed. “I don't remember,” He said, lost in thought.

“Okay, don't tell me.”

“ I swear...I don't remember. I look in my says on an I.D. Card I live in Santa Barbra..I really don't remember...”

Cabbie reached back there, took the wallet from Gerin. He looked through it. “Jon Gerin, 5504 Furoh Dr, Santa Barbra, CA. Looks like this is your wife,” Cabbie showed him the photo through the plastic casing inside the wallet. A wedding picture of Gerin holding hands with a young blonde woman dressed as a bride, he as a groom. “No pics of any kids..but one of a Great really don't remember anything? Job? Parents? Where you grew up?”

Gerin shook his head.

“Geez, friend. You got it bad---hey! The Town Pageant is starting! Let's go look.” Cabbie jumped out of the car, star struck.

Gerin reluctantly followed Cabbie out of the car and down the street. He stood beside Cabbie and hundreds of onlookers as a a band of people dressed in black walking behind an old hearse led by a horse and a driver with a whip in one hand, reins in the other. The onlookers were tossing lilies at the feet of a woman walking directly behind the hearse.

“Ain't that something, friend? Right out of a PBS drama, huh? Reenactment of some kind...” Cabbie noticed Gerin wasn't at his side anymore.

Gerin had rushed out in the crowd of marching people in the street, fighting his way to the woman right behind the hearse. When he reached her, Gerin turned her around, tore the veil from her face. It was the bride from his wedding picture. He fell backwards on to the back of the hearse. The horse had stopped in it's tracks. Gerin peered inside the hearse window.

He saw himself lying there in the velvet lining of the hearse, arms folded across his the front of his black suit, eyes closed, resting so peaceful.


THE PHONE CALL will be published in WEIRDYEAR in November.

Friday, August 24, 2012

MR. PARKER GOES TO SANGRIA copyright 2012 m.s.

The town was nothing but black clouds and dust swirling around in an angry wind.
Eddie Parker had just rode into the small sleepy town of Sangria, north of Mexico city. His black Cadillac broke down just as he crossed the town line, luckily right in front of the bar and hotel. Across the street was a shop that sold antiques, the police dept. and a restaurant that was actually a a run down trailer. He noticed a statue that stood in front of the bar. A strange looking man, small, with a fat face, tiny eyes, goat-like legs, baring his teeth, grasping at the air with it's claws.
Parker was bothered by the image. Definitely.
Parker was tired. He took a shower and fell on the bed, a mattress made of stone, and found lucid dreams.
He was there in a strange town to do a job. A job for the Ganger family, tire kings in the automotive industry, and notorious family of thieves and murderers.

Parker met with the head of the family, Rudolf and his younger cousins, Spiro and Haskell. They met at one of the tire centers in Pittsburgh. Outside he could hear guys talking, and engines starting up and tires being removed.

“God, I hate coming to these shitholes,” Rudolf said.

Parker thought that was funny. Considering the old man owned about two hundred of these “shitholes” all over the U.S.

Rudolf shrugged, gestured to his cousins. “But what are you gonna do?” The old man was dressed to the nines, a homburg on his head and and glasses kept the bright sunlight out of his eyes. Every few seconds he would tap a white cane on the concrete where their metal chairs sat in an empty garage,

“Mr. Parker,” Rudolf said. “You have been a trusted associate of my family's for many years, now. I have a job for you in Mexico. I want you to even an old score. The details are in this envelop,” He took the manilla envelop from Haskell and handed it to Parker. Parker unhooked the metal button and peaked inside. There was a picture of an old man in a white suit.

“Along with your usual fee,” Rudolf shrugged again. “Of course you get a bonus if the job is done quickly and without public response. This man...owes me a life. My son, Domi,God rest his soul, went missing when I sent him to sangria to do business with this scum. He owes me his life. It took me thirty years to build the empire I have now, and thirty years to make reason with those that stand to gain nothing by his death. Do this for the family, me, and Domi.”

Parker smiled. He placed the envelop under his arm. “The job will be done with respect for the family, Boss.”

He jerked awake, arms flailing. Then there was the terrible stinging pain on his abdomen. Parker screamed, saw steam rising from claw marks across the inflamed skin. Markings of some kind. A symbol and Latin phrases. He pulled himself off the cot and barely made it to the mirror. Parker ran a finger across the fresh wound.

“Damn it. How did this happen?”

He searched the room, his Walther held tight in his hands. He found no sign of any one, or entry of any kind. But on the table beside the cot, he found a peso with those same markings on his midsection.

Parker sat wearily on his cot, the springs creaking underneath him. He ran a hand over his tired face. He looked at the alarm clock and saw two hours had passed by.

He was late. He was suppose to meet his guide in the bar downstairs at nine. The guide was to take him into the village of Peros a few miles from the town square in Sangria.

Parker quickly dressed. The blue suit, gray shirt, no tie. It was his death suit. He used it many times.
Out of the corner of his eye, Parker saw something. A blur of a small dark figure passing by him, trotting, or racing past him. He turned, saw nothing.
His mind was fucking with him.

Parker looked his hands. They were shaking. His heart was racing. Everything felt intense. This was an odd feeling before a job. He hadn't felt that since the first kill.
His first job was on a wife of a senator that was probing the gambling syndicate in Jersey. He followed her to a bar. She was meeting a guy there that was not her husband. Parker had watched them closely. An argument ensued. The man left.

So Parker picked up the Senator's wife. He slept with her. Hours later, he'd strangled her with her own stockings. That mysterious man in the bar went to jail for her murder. Turned out, he was the senator's campaign manager.

Funny how things work.
He left his room, stepped out on to the red carpet, gliding down the hallway as if he were floating on air. His eyes were transfixed on happenings in front of him. A woman and her sickly poodle sitting in the lounge, she was breaking off pieces molded bread on her stained slip and the poodle was eating them off her plump belly. A little boy was standing in a corner of the lounge holding hands with an old man who was an older version of the little boy. A bellhop walked by, grimacing, showing Parker his rotting teeth and black gums.

He was gliding past it all, right through the doorway of the bar.
Parker stood there, feeling the cool coming from the central air from a vent in the ceiling. The bar was nicer than the hotel. Everything was shiny and glimmered in the florescent lights. There was five people in the bar. Bartender who was spitting and compulsively wiping down the counter.

A fat man with no shirt on lay dead drunk across one of the tables. And a couple who were mooning over each other, holding hands, just looking intently into each others eyes. In the back, sitting at one of the tables, sipping a beer, was a young dark haired woman in a bright green dress. Her hair was in her face. She was caressing that beer glass.
Parker watched her. He felt his temperature rise, his hands wet with perspiration.
The bartender said something in Spanish. Parker walked over, sat at the bar. He clucked his tongue, rolled his eyes. Parker pointed at a sign for Tecate beer. The bartender nodded.
Parker took a piece of paper from his breast pocket and handed it to the bartender when his beer was brought to him. The bartender chuckled. He pointed to the man passed out on the table behind him. The bartender shook his head and gave the paper back. He walked away, chuckling.

“Great,” Parker said. “All I want is a guide and they set me up me with a guy that will end up choking on his own vomit. “

“I can take you where you need to go,” A voice said from behind Parker. It was the young woman from the back of the room. She was smiling, showing how poorly she'd put on her red lipstick. Parker noticed her hair was still covering the left side of her face.

“I don't know,” Parker said. “The firm I work for set me up with this guy. How do I know I can trust you? You won't roll me, steal my wallet?”

“And you think something like that wouldn't happen with him?” She pointed to the drunk who lay in dreamland. “I know Cucho. He couldn't find his dick if he needed to pee.”

Something about a woman who used phrases like that that turned Parker on. He laughed and nodded. “Okay, chickie. I'll give a hundred when we get to the village of Peros.”

“You buy me a meal for starters. Then we start out. And my name's not Chickie. It's Teresa.”

“Hey!” Parker yelled to the bartender. “Bring us something to eat!”

The bartender looked at Parker quizzically. Teresa sighed. “nos trae unas enchiladas ,” She said.

The bartender smiled, “Si,” He said as he walked away.

“Look,” Parker stood. “I gotta go to the toilet, okay? Be back.”
“I'll be here when you get back,” Teresa gave him a smile.
Parker flashed her a quick smile.

The bathroom was not a high priority, Parker could see that. The two stalls were missing doors. The last toliet looked like somebody dumped a case of Van Camps beans in the bowl. Parker thought he he was going to puke at the smile. But he held on.

He went to the urinal. There was no water and all signs point that it had been bone dry for eons. Parker sighed. He decided that this was just as good as any place to take a piss, and not flush. God knows, that damn thing would overflow and no way in hell was Parker going to get those alligator shoes wet he just bought.

He unzipped his fly. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a blur of something dash behind him. He turned quickly. Nothing. Parker closed his eyes. Shit, he thought. I'm getting jumpy. He relieved himself in a hurry, dribbling on his trousers. He cursed out loud.

Parker heard breathing from behind. He drew his gun from the holster and turned. Again, there wasn't anyone there. “Get a hold of yourself---”

That was the moment he felt the sharp pain in his back. He had heard something that sounded like paper being ripped. Parker felt a warm sensation. And when he fell to the linoleum floors, he saw the blood slowly run from his left side.

He tried to make himself stand, he just kept falling. Out of nowhere, a peso coin fell to the floor beside his body. Soon he gave up on the idea of walking out of the bathroom. A black veil fell over Parker and his consciousness.

When Parker awoke, he was in a bed in a different room in the hotel. He saw Teresa standing by the open window, smoking, a slither of light from the streetlamp engulfed the features of her face. He tried to sit up, the sheets under him made a rustling noise.

Teresa jerked her head around nervously. She flicked her butt out the window. There was sparks from the lit end striking the window seal. “Please don't move,” She said.

In three quick steps, she was at his side, helping Parker to settle down. He grabbed Teresa and forced her to kiss him. It wasn't much of a struggle. He unzipped her dress and moved his hands inside to her breasts. She removed his hands, made him lay down. She stood and let the dress fall to the floor, stepped out of it. Slowly she stalked the bed. Parker waited in heightened anticipation.

“Geez...I feel like shit. Somebody knifed me.” Parker stated. “Man, I haven't been laid up like this since the Pinter family war a few years ago. Never been knifed.”

“You should rest,” Teresa eased him back on the pillows. “The bleeding may start again.”

Parker turned over on his right side. He saw the marks through the bandages. Three long claw marks. He gasped, sat up. “What the hell? Did I get attacked by a tiger?”

Teresa touched his shoulder, “'ll hurt yourself worse.”

Parker saw the peso on the night table. He winced. “This is the second time I have been attacked.” He licked his lips. “I'm not even sure....”

“What?” Teresa was curious. She sat on the bed beside Parker. “What aren't you not sure about?'”

“No. I don't know...I'm not sure what I my room awhile ago..I saw a flash of something.... I was lying down first time....woke up and my stomach had these weird markings!” Parker showed her.

“I saw them. Very strange. I could read is a warning,” Teresa rose from the bed. She went over to the night table and retrieved a cigarette from her handbag. She walked to the open window, lit it. “Were you half asleep?”

“ Maybe. No. I woke up from the pain from those markings. Then I saw one of those pesos. In the bathroom I heard breathing..sounded like a winded animal. Whatever it was, it was fast.” He thought a second. Then said, “A warning, huh?”
“You saw another Peso,” Teresa threw her head back and blew smoke from her tiny nostrils. The smoke curled, lingered in the air, then moved on through the window.

“Yeah,” Parker thought. He forced himself to a standing position.

“What are you doing?” Teresa scolded him.

“I need to get to Peros. Finish that job. Get me my shirt.”


“You want that hundred? Earn it. Guide me to Peros,” Parker said.

“It would be my pleasure,” Teresa tossed her cigarette out the window.

The car driven twenty miles north of Sangria was a model Parker did not recognize. It was boxy, an early 1980's model, and the paint rusted to it's primary color. But it ran good. Better than any car in recent memory.

“The man who sold it to me said it was made in Brazil,” Teresa told Parker. “ The factory made fifteen of them before going bankrupt. Or so he said. All I know it could be a Russian vehicle. I bought it cheap.”

They drove through a few miles of desert before they ended up in Peros. In the village, on the streets and around buildings, Parker noticed there were more of those statues like the one he saw in Sangria. He felt uneasy, weak.

“Are you okay?” Teresa put a hand on his clammy forehead. “My God, you are very sick...burning up!”

“I'm okay,” Parker pushed her hand away. “Keep driving.”

“We're here,” Teresa said.

The car pulled into a duty driveway of a huge stucco villa. It looked empty. Vines grew over the outside walls and over the roof. The grass was beginning of an amazonian jungle.

“I see he still lives alone,” Parker said.

“What are you going to do?”

Parker lowered his eyebrows. His small black eyes darted back and forth. “That's my business. Understand?”

Teresa breathed deeply. She nodded her head nervously.

“Stay in the car. Be out in a few.” Parker commanded.

He got out of the car gingerly, ambled toward the villa. It felt like a million miles away. Parker stopped at the front door, looked back at the car. Teresa was watching, but only casually. Parker smiled, saluted with a finger at his forehead. She scowled, waved back.

Parker turned the knob, the front door creaked open too easy. Way too easy. What's waiting for me on the other side? He eased it partially open. Peeking in, Parker only saw an old man sitting in a wheel chair, half-asleep. It was the man he was looking for. Parker drew his Walther from his holster and pushed the door completely open.

“I told him not to sleep with that witch,” The old man blabbered. “Malo ... muy malo ... el hombre de piedra, ahora.” The old man shook his head.

Parker put his finger on the trigger. “This is for Rudolf Ganger!”

It all happened in a flash. Just as Parker pulled the trigger, he heard a loud growl, and out of nowhere a small hairy man leaped on him, pulled him to the floor. The Walther went exploded, the bullet roared above the old man's head and struck the ceiling. Wood particled rained on the old man. The small man was strong. The creature pinned Parker down with its claws kneaded deep into him, bearing its sharp teeth. Parker screamed as the small man ripped flesh from his left cheek.

The old man babbled away as the small man devoured Parker.

Teresa walked in. She had a blanket in her hands. She watched for a minute as the small man finished his feeding. She walked over, covered the old man. “Keep this on you, amapola .”

She collected the third Peso by the body of Parker, added it to the other two coins. She handed them to the old man.
“I told him not to lie with you....very bad...sleeping with a witch.” The old man said.

Domi,” Teresa called to the small man. He came running, jumped in her arms and immediately turned to stone. “But Amapola, he's such a good servant.”

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

DATE MOVIE copyright 2012 m.s.

Jeff picked up May at the drug store she worked at. He drove up in his Benz, and she climbed in. For the first time in her life, May wasn't nervous about her date. She felt like the luckiest girl in the world to have come across a guy like Jeff.
A driven man in life, passionate. Driving a Benz, you can tell he had money. And from his smile and personality, you could tell he was good with people. He came from old money. His family has been in the meat packing business since the fifties. He's the one who expanded into making his own sausage.

He was a winner.

Not like those other losers she'd dated since she was twelve. Doug the junkie. Max the football coach who had a thing for young boys. Dallas who killed a man for ten dollars in a card game. And Fred, who went off to college and never contacted her again. Then there was the guys in between. A few one night stands and Mr. Vicks her current boss ended the affair cause his wife wasn't dying after all.

Yes. Jeff was definitely the right one for her.

The apartment he lived in was a studio big enough to store three cars. He had original paintings on his wall by Georgia O’Keeffe. He drank wine, not Pabst blue ribbon. He ate shell fish and not hamburgers and pork rinds. He liked dramas, not Stallone flicks.

He was a winner.

This was there third date. Jeff decided to watch A room with a view. It fit the mood he was in, he told May. The movie began and ten minutes in, he asked if she wanted more wine. She said yes.

Jeff went to his new state of the art fridge, opened the door. They discussed the movie in context of other films and literature about the Victorian age, yelling from different rooms. Jeff reached in for the new bottle of red wine past the head with the hole in the top where a spoon sat. The expression on the woman's face was one of horrible shock and undeniable fear.

May felt woozy. Double vision troubled her. Jeff appeared only in a blur. May was disappointed she didn't get to finish her date like she had the last three. With the hilt of a knife deep in Jeff's chest as they cuddled in bed.

But later on Jeff was satisfied, even for a short time.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Sunday, August 5, 2012

THE FEELING copyright2012 m.s.

Luna entered the cafe with a hand attached to the front of her dress. She sat in the booth facing the streetlight peering inside the window of the cafe. Under the streetlight was man that crawled in and out of the trash cans that were in a circle. His long worm-like body slithered around the cold hard pavement in circles, then back in one of the trash cans, and out again. The cycle continued the entire time Luna was in the cafe.

She watched this man, and noticed his naked gray skin was illuminated by the light from the streetlight. She could see every terrible boil on his dry flaky skin. Skin particles and a slimy oil residue was left on sidewalk in an almost cryptic message.

This made the hand that was attached to Luna's dress very nervous.
He wasn't the most out going of hands or even body parts for that matter. Though he did become friendly with a female foot next door. They would sit in the foot's room, drink Sangria and listen to Nick Drake records. Luna didn't like the foot very much. She was very jealous. So she tried very hard to prevent the hand from seeing the foot. Often hiding his cell phone, or deleting his messages on Facebook.

This put a division in Luna and the hand's relationship for a time. Just a week or so ago, they began to talk. Mostly about the Russian Revelation and chocolate fingers.

Still, the worm-like man crawling in and out of trash cans made the hand nervous. And when the waitress came to take their order, the hand leaped from the front of Luna's dress and attached itself to the waitress' face.

The waitress ran through the crowded cafe screaming, knocking dishes into customers and dumping a mop bucket on the owner's feet. After a few minutes of this folly, the hand removed itself from the waitress' face.

With all eyes on them, and whispers to their backs, Luna and her hand left the cafe, only slightly embarrassed.

On the street, under the streetlight, the worm-like man settled out in front of one of the trash cans. He smiled hugely at Luna and the hand, bearing all his blackened teeth. The hand crawled into the trash can first, then Luna, followed by the worm-like man.

Luna was happy. She had that warm feeling of belonging to someone.