The knife goes in
Slices with ease
Smells of cheddar cheese
The knife goes in
Slices with ease
Smells of cheddar cheese
Liberate us from these cappuccino choreographers.
With their vivacious cheers for Versace
And justice for persecuted cheese,
We’re bound to enter the tawdry castle
Offended, mouths full of disgraceful notions
And pumpkin spice spaghetti.
“You know that feeling? The one when you’ve been on the toilet for so long, you’ve lost track of time, and you get up and feel something bubbled up on your ass? The feeling that shit is still coming out as you pull up your pants and wash your hands?
“The one where you still fill the lump in your ass as you walk out of the bathroom? As if a thick, stubborn blot of shit followed you out of the toilet? But instead of shit it’s just a big ass hemorrhoid on your asshole? The kind that’s so bad no cream will heal it? So you decide you’ll just have to get used to the uncomfortable lump, and accept that it’s a part of your life now?”
It took a moment for Herbert to respond. His quizzical expression said it all. “Why the hell would you ever think about that, babe? Just… why?”
“Well, yesterday, you asked me how I felt about you and I couldn’t find the right words. Well, it took me a while, but I think that pretty much sums it up.”
Herbert downs a pill to ease his arthritis and pecks my cheek. “You’re my kind of crazy, babe.”
Gregory was at war with the crimson army.
“Guys, we’re under attack!” he exclaimed, darting towards the kitchen. “Get off your asses! I can’t take all of them by myself!”
Six red warriors buzzed around the room, each spitting incomprehensible incantations at the residents. Gregory couldn’t understand why his friends were still on the couch and not gunning for the door or taking them on as he was. This was the second attack of the day, and even though he prevailed before, the battle would be lost if he had to face them alone again.
One of them bit his neck; another ran its claws across his face.
Gregory ran to the other side of the room, trying to shake a few of the bastards off his back; he felt their pointy fingers digging into the nape of his neck. He was about to shout for help when he noticed the living room windows turn red – it wouldn’t be long before the crimson cloud occupied the house.
“Stephen, grab baby Lillian and get the rest of the family away from here! If you leave through the front door now, you might escape with your lives!”
His friends still acted as if there wasn’t an ominous force pent on killing them all – or worse: they could be forced into slavery for the evil Crimson King. The thought made Gregory shiver with fear, but what could he do if they weren’t willing to save themselves?
“I will never give up on you all, even if you find amusement in my pain and your impending doom! I will die before I let them touch any one of you,” he hissed, stomping at a few downed soldiers. There were two left, but all effort would be deemed worthless when hundreds of thousands more usher through the back door. Gregory scurried upstairs, hoping his pursuers would follow and his friends could devise a defense strategy.
Fighting back tears from laughing hysterically, Stephen was the first to speak. “Damn, Bethany, your cat is so insane! You’d think he was being attacked by a monster or something.”
“If you think this is funny, just wait until I give him this cat nip treat,” Bethany retorted, revealing a white plastic bag from her purse.
For years I prayed to God to give my life meaning. I was a devout Christian who spent every second of spare time I had volunteering at the shelter. I even regularly attended church, no matter how cluttered and full my schedule was. I was the epitome of a good human. But were my prayers answered even in the very least? No.
So, expanding my faith, I took it one step further by contacting the devil. Out of all the great deities that roam this realm, I figured he’d be the most willing to graciously grant my wish. I wasn’t wrong.
After chanting the sacrament into the smoke of a candled pentagram, I closed my eyes, imagining what a meaningful life could be like. No longer would I be left in the rain, with so much love in my heart, but still an outcast; I would have the power to help people as well as myself – nothing would be out of reach. Money, booze, women, fame – I may have been a good Bible-thumping Christian boy, but even I can’t say I am without the urge to sin.
“Give my life meaning, and I pledge my soul to you,” I murmured.
Suddenly the flames dancing atop the five black candles hissed away, extinguished by an ethereal wind. And then there was nothing: there was no booming voice only I could hear, no gnarly, blistered face to run away in terror to. Just silence.
The next day, however, I awoke renewed. The heart on my sleeve had been finally placed back in its spot, and my mind was clear of the fog that obscured my goal-seeking eye for so long. This was it, I thought. Thank you, Satan, for granting my wish – I’ll be sure to uphold my end of the bargain.
Then there was that cracked, deafening voice: “Posh!” It exclaimed. “All of that is your own doing; I simply made you into what I make all my disciples.” After a roar of laughter, it continued: “You asked to walk a different road full of new experiences, and you didn’t care who you pissed off in the process. Isn’t that right?”
Well, yes, although those weren’t my exact words.
“The words you speak have no meaning to me mortal. Rather, your intentions and inner thoughts are what I pay attention to, and I found you very deserving of this new life I’ve given you.”
I’m forever your humble servant, my Lord, but what – may I ask – did you grant me?
“A job. Your new path involves you selling shitty insurance policies and undesirable items to the masses over the phone. It’s the perfect career; I’d do it myself if I wasn’t focused on drowning the world in filth, you know.”
“You made me a telemarketer?”
“Just be at Venatago Center, room 684, at nine tomorrow morning so you can start your training.”
Grandma gasped. Things were bigger in Texas.
A young girl clad in a frilly, pink dress skips down a dark alleyway. An immaculately sculpted ponytail hangs stiff from the back of her head, as if it was frozen in time – she wouldn’t have it fixed any differently. Ever since her daddy plastered her cute face on the bottle of every Avispray hair product, her personal stylist’s only order was to keep her looking fresh and beautiful, no matter the time. She even had to learn to sleep at a different angle to keep from crushing that trademarked pigtail.
Tonight, she was on her way to the annual Solstice Gala, a party she had to attend every year in accordance to her daddy’s terms; in exchange for anything she ever wants until the day she turns 18, she had to attend all of the company parties. She is the face of Avispray, after all.
The only problem was that she isn’t allowed to ride in any motorized vehicle. The static could ruin her hair, her daddy says. So, instead of being whisked to the Berga Event Center in a black limousine like her family was, she got an armed escort and they had to head to the party by foot.
“How many miles away is the gala?” she asks her escort, who is almost as young as she is.
“It won’t take us long, Lisa,” he says, digging his hands into the pockets of his black slacks. His fingers grazed the outline of a blade.
Lisa groans and stomps her pink wedge to the cobbled walkway. “This isn’t fair!” she yells. “I wish I never agreed to this; not even my diamond-encrusted stuffed unicorn is worth this torture! I’m freezing!”
“Here, have my jacket. I don’t need it anyway. And, my name’s Luc,” he mutters, throwing his black coat over Lisa’s bubblegum shawl. “Why are you going to this party, anyway? And why can’t you go in the car?”
“What, so you’re saying you don’t know?” Lisa smacks on a mouthful of grape gum, her teeth and tongue dyed purple.
Puzzled, Luc replies: “Don’t know what?” All he knew what that he was filling in for his brother, Max, who was busy making out with his girlfriend at home. Luc had only walked in to ask him to help him cut out a page of paper snowflakes when he tricked him into taking his shift. He told Luc that the rich people would be too focused on their own stupid problems to know they were leaving their daughter in the hands of an eight-year-old. And he was right.
“It’s my hair, duh.” She motions toward her shiny, blonde hair. “Sometimes I wish I didn’t have this hair, if it meant I could live a normal life. You wouldn’t know.”
Luc couldn’t see what the big deal was; to him, hair was hair – what people should pay attention to is a person’s personality. At least, that’s what he was always told. “Oh,” was all he could muster.
Lisa pulls her lips back with a wide, rehearsed smile and walks ahead. Her bright purple teeth nearly illuminate the alley. “Yeah. If it weren’t for my beautiful locks, daddy’s company would have never taken off. When it comes down to it, I’m the one making all the money. This stupid hair –”
A long, thick clump of yellow hair falls to the ground, and Luc stands beaming. “Look! Now you can live a normal life! How about I take you on a detour and show you this really good candy shop my brother showed me?”
Luc didn’t know a little girl could make such a loud sound. Her scream brought him to his knees.
“WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE?” she wails, her hands desperately searching for the lock of missing hair, hoping it was all just a joke.
Luc stammers, “Woh…well, you were just telling me how t-t-t-terrible you felt because of your hair. I thought I could make it better for you.”
“Gimme those scissors!” Lisa snatches at Luc’s pockets. “You really wanna make everything better? I know of just the way,” she says, hissing through a menacing smirk.
Luc suddenly wishes he had stayed home; at least the paper snowflakes don’t throw a fit if he cuts off a little more than he planned.