Posts Tagged ‘short story

23
Aug
10

Guardian Angels

By the time you see the blue lights flashing, it’s already too late.

Thursday night we get pulled over, I’ve had two tequilas and about five beers so basically I’m up shit creek and I fucking know it.

They run through the usual pleasantries of “Have you been drinking, sir?” and “Please get out of your car sir” and all the while all you’re thinking is, “It’ll be fine. Everything will be fine. Somehow everything’s going to work out. Just be cool.”

They make you check the nozzle, check it’s freshly sealed in plastic and no one’s tampered with it before they open the plastic and attach it to the breathaliser.

“Point zero five is the legal limit sir, are you aware of that?”

“Yes, I am.”

She aims the breathaliser at me like a firing squad and I fill my lungs to bursting with clean, fresh air…

                                     *          *          *          *          *          *         

Friday night we’re going down Kommetjie road, J-Rab’s driving and we see a line of cars pulled over.

“Oh fuck,” she says.

“What is it? Is it a fucking accident? Please tell me it’s a fucking accident.”

“It’s a road block.”

“AGAIN?! WHAT THE FUCK?!”

Again. It’s happening all over again…

                                     *          *          *          *          *          *         

The number on the breathaliser is changing. I feel like I’m watching a roulette wheel spinning. Point zero three. Point zero five. Point zero six.

How is this even possible? I wonder. I’m WAY over the limit, how is this even fucking possible?

                                     *          *          *          *          *          *         

“Can I see your license please miss?”

It’s like some kind of recurring nightmare. If he gets a breathaliser out we’re fucked. God, anything could happen to her in those cells.

I feel sick to the stomach.

He checks her license, moves around to check my license disk. Holy fuck, isn’t it expiring soon? There’s no way we’re getting through this, it’s just not possible. The license disk has expired, we’ll get a fine, he’ll smell the drinks she’s had on her breath.

She’s not drunk, but she’s over the limit.

God, we are so fucked.

I take a deep breath, fill my lungs to bursting with fresh, clean air…

                                     *          *          *          *          *          *         

The numbers stop changing. There’s a moment of silence so heavy I think my heart’s caved in.

This isn’t happening. How is this even happening? How?

“Point zero four. You’re under the legal limit sir. Drive home safe”

                                     *          *          *          *          *          *         

“Your license expires at the end of the month, but remember, you still have 21 days after that to get a new one so don’t worry too much about it and have a nice night.”

“Thank you,” J-Rab says.

And we drive home both times, safe as houses and jump into our warm bed and hold each other, laughing, just laughing and so goddamn happy to be home.

                                     *          *          *          *          *          *

I found this drawing on a wall on Saturday night at a house party we were at and I spent a long time staring at it and smiling. The other people there, they had no idea why.

But when J-Rab saw me staring at it she smiled too.

“Guardian angels,” she said.

“Guardian angels,” I replied.

 

 

-ST

05
Jul
10

Afrikaans Porn

Dit was n koue Maandag aand en Karel Bester was in sy gunstelling bar met Charnelle, genieting n bitjie brannewyn en coke terwyl Kurt Darren het op die jukebox n lekker leidjie gespeel het.

 

 

“Weet jy wat die fokken probleem met Marikie is?” het Karel gese as hy n lank suip van sy brannewyn gevat het, “sy is glad nie adventurous nie.”

“Nie adventurous nie?” het Charnelle gevra, haar oe darting tussen Karel se gesig en sy krotch, “wat beteken jy Karel?”

“Wel, die ding is, ek en Marikie is nou amper vyf jaar getrou en moenie my verkeerd vat nie ek fokken lief haar stukkend.”

“Jaaa…” het Charnelle gese as haar lank, pienk vingernaels oor Karel se duk, hairy arm gestrook het.

“Maar, dit maak nie saak nie hoe hard ek vra, sy wou nie gatsteek probeer nie!”

“Sjoe!” het Charnelle uit geroep, “maar jy’s n stoute seuntjie om vir arme Marikie daaie te vra!”

 

 

Karel het bloed-rooi geblush. “Hoe dronk is ek?” het hy gedink. “Ek is seker Charnelle wou nie hierdie kak oor ek en haar suster hoer nie.”

“Jammer Charnelle, ek, ek, fok ek is dof…”

Charnelle het haar lippe stadig gelek terwyl haar lank fingernaels verder op Karel se duk, hairy arm gestrook het.

“Karel, moenie so blerrie shy wees nie,” het Charnelle gewhisper, “ons is ou vrinne lank voor jy my suster getrou het…”

“Charnelle…” het Karel gese, “is dit kool as ek… umm… jou lekker in die gat steek…?”

“Ag Karel! Jy is so fokken romantic, vir seker is dit kool! Kom, laat ons na my plek gaan, ons kan n bitjie KY loob en biltong koop op pad.”

 

                                                 *          *          *         *          *

 

“Fok, maar Charnelle se plek lyk lekker met al hierdie kerse,” het Karel gedink as hy kaalgat op haar couch gesit het, “net soos daaie laat aand televisie programme op E-TV.”

Karel het sy sagte shlerm in sy hand frantically gemaseer. “Kom nou jou fokken lazy ding,” het Karel vir homself gemumbel, “Charnelle sou nou nou uit die badkamer kom en dan moet jy stuif soos n paal wees sodat ek jou in haar poepgat kan jam.”

As Karel dat gese het, het Charnelle die badkamer deur vinnig oop gegooi sodat dit n hard klap tussen the muur gemaak het.

“Charnelle…” het Karel gese, “ek is fokken speechless…”

Charnelle het daar in leathers gestaan met a rooi rubber gag-ball in haar hand.

 

 

“Jy lyk pragtig,” het Karel gese.

“En jy lyk n bitjie saggies ne?” het sy geantwoord.

“Ja, jammer man,” het Karel embarrassed gese, “ek dink ek het n bitjie teveel brannewyn gedrink. Maar as jy my kok kom slurp sal dit lekker hard kry.”

“Jou wish is my kommand,” hey Charnelle al sexy gese as sy op sy knee gekry en Karel se piel in haar mond gesit het.

“Fok ja,” het Karel gese, “dis reg teef, slurp my piesang, aaaahhh.”

Voordat hy geweet wat gebeer het was Karel yster-hard en gereed om Charnelle se Hershey highway te ry.

“Kom nou,” het Karel gese, “laat ek my hard kok vas in jou pragtige gat steek, ek moet huis toe gaan voordat ek die laat aand repeat van Noot Vir Noot mis.”

“Fok, is dit vanaand?” het Charnelle gese, “ek het gedink dit was op Dinsdag aand.”

“Nee, dis vanaand. Nou sit daaie gag in jou mond vas, en gee die KJ vir my. Ek wou jou gat lekker loob sodat dit tear nie.”

“Ja, moenie soos jou boet wees nie, hy het my gat so vreeslik getear ek n poepsak vir n maand gedra het.”

“Wat?!” het Karel gese, “jy en my boet het gatsteek gehe…?”

“Ja, maar moenie worry nie, jou kok is heeltemaal groter.”

“Oo, dis ok then,” het Karel gese as Charnelle die gag in haar mond gesit en oor die koffie tafel gebend het.

Karel het die KJ al oor sy privates gesquirt. “Dis now or never,” het hy gedink, “ek hoop Charnelle haar stinkgat lekker gewas het, ek wou nie any dinglberries in my pubes kry nie.”

Charnelle se gat was die tightest ding Karel in sy hele lewe gevoel het. Dit het n paar stroke gevat voordat hy heeltemaal in was en dan n paar meer voordat hy lekker hard gekom het.

“Aaarrararargrahggrhrggrghahrgagragrgahghhhhhh,” het Karel gese.

“Mmmommommmommmommoo,” het Charnelle terug gemumble.

“Hoe voel dit!” het Karel geskree, “voel dit lekker as ek my kom in jou gat pomp? Ooo ja, vat dit! Wie’s jou pappa? Wies jou pappa teef!”

 

 

“Mmmmmomommmmommo,” het Charnelle gese.

“Ahh…” het Karel gese. “Ok, baie dankie Charnelle, ek is klaar.” Charnelle het die gag af gevat en terug na Karel gedraai.

“Het jy my gat geniet?”

“Ja!” het Karel gelukkig geantwoord, “fok, dit het baie lekker gevoel, kan ek you in die gat volgende week ook steek?”

“Vir seker!” het Charnelle geantwoord.

“Dankie tog Charnelle. Lekker aand.”

“En jou Karel,” het Charnelle gese as Karel sy kleure aangetrek en uit die deur gestap het.

“Sjoe, ek hou baie van daaie Karel,” het Charnelle gedink.

“Ek hoop ek nie my krotch krieke vir hom gegee het nie…”

DIE EINDE

15
Apr
10

Short Story: Ending

She takes my hand and leads me down an impossibly long passage. The light everywhere is murky, oozing out of dimmer-switched skylights, the carpets are a pale mustardy colour and rooms branch off to the left and right of me, there must be at least 20 coming off this passage.

The two beers I downed nervously at the ‘bar’ are doing nothing to take the edge of what I’m doing and though I’m trying to act cool, trying to enjoy this, I think what’s really happening is I’m crapping myself.

This one can’t be much older than 20, she is skin and bone, I think I should have gone with a different one. It’s just that I fucked up in the moment. I mean, I think most guys would have. They lead you into a room, call out, “Ladies, introductions!” and next thing you’re staring at a row of highly dysfunctional female human beings and being asked to pick one.

The “Cindys” and “Candys” and “Lauries” and “Nickys” all kinda seem to melt into one and you’re very suddenly aware of the fact that about 15 women are watching you with the same disinterest cats watch dropped strings.

One of them introduced herself as the “Naughty Nurse” and made an effort to at least be appealing on some level. Problem was she was the ugliest of the bunch by quite a long way, which made her “Naughty Nurse” act pretty sad at the end of the day.

I had to do the lineout twice cause after the first time there was this pregnant silence in the room when I was asked to choose. I couldn’t remember a single woman’s name and felt too embarrassed to just point and say ‘you’.

Eventually the woman in charge suggested we go through the names again and I nodded my approval and tried to look confident and not betray the fact that all I wanted to do was get the hell out of there.

So that’s how I ended up choosing Charnelle. Hers was the only name that stuck after the woman in charge ran through them all again. She also looked younger than the others, so I figured we’d at least be able to have some kind of a conversation.

But man, watching her shoulder blades move so visibly under her skin while she walks in front of me, all I can think is how damn skinny she is, like a little kid or something.

She takes me inside a room and turns, business-like, and strips off her cheap evening dress. She steps awkwardly out of her panties, and stands in front of me, all ribs, hip bones and bee-sting nipples.

“You can take a shower if you like,” she says.

The Greek God told me that when he did this last, the girl joined him in the shower and they made out while she washed him.

“Sure,” I reply.

I shower until I’m starting to wrinkle, but still no sign of her, so I get out sheepishly and tie a towel around my waist, regretting the fact that I didn’t get to shave my balls before this.

Back in the other room, she’s smoking a cigarette out the window, which she quickly throws away, waving her hands frantically through the smoky air.

“It’s cool, I don’t mind,” I say.

“Ja, but my manager hates it when we smoke in the rooms,” she says, rolling her eyes.

“I won’t tell if you don’t…”

“Why would I tell? We get fined if they catch us.” She’s tired, irritated. Maybe I should have gone for the Naughty Nurse, at least she seemed happier.

“Yeah… um, so how does this…” I trail off, hoping for her to finish my sentence. Nope, nothing.

“What happens now?” I finish lamely.

“Oh,” she says standing abruptly, still naked. She crosses the room to a table of assorted oils and creams. “You want baby oil or refined oil?”

“Um what’s the difference?”

“You married?”

I double-take at the absurdity of this question.

“Do I look old enough to be married?” I say, mildly indignant.

“Girlfriend?”

“No! What kind of jerk comes here if he’s married or has a girlfriend?”

“Ninety percent. That’s why we have refined oil, it doesn’t leave a smell, but it’s a lot rougher on the skin that baby oil.”

“Ok,” I say, more than a little surprised, “baby oil’s fine.”

“Ok, take off your towel.”

“Haha,” I laugh nervously, “what, aren’t you even going to buy me a drink first?”

She folds her arms, cocking her head impatiently to the side. Her eye make-up looks like it was applied by a heroine addict.

“Guess not,” I mumble. I walk across the room and, facing away from her, untie the towel and drape it neatly over a nearby chair.

“Now what?” I ask, still facing the corner.

“Come and lie down,” she says tonelessly, “on your stomach.” I half turn and then see she’s watching me. I freeze stupidly.

“I’m going to see it sooner or later,” she says, “I mean that’s why you came here isn’t it?”

I have no idea why I came here. I have to bite my tongue to keep from saying this. I turn around, she stares pointedly at my junk, sighs and starts pouring baby oil into her cupped hand.

Excellent start.

I quickly lie down on my stomach, relieved at the illusion of being somehow less naked that this affords me.

She starts with my feet, digging her fingers into my insteps. It feels like she is trying to crack the bones in my feet, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be enjoying this or not.

This could be like one of those massages that feels like agony while it’s happening, but you walk away from it feeling better, I think to myself.

“So what do you do?” She asks.

“I sell grass,” I reply. She stops massaging.

“Really?” For the first time all evening, she sounds borderline enthusiastic about what I’ve just said. “You don’t have any on you, do you?”

“Um, it’s not that kind of grass.”

“What kind is it?” She says, her enthusiasm dying instantly.

“It’s like lawn grass, not grass-grass, you know, for golf courses and stuff.”

“Oh. Too bad. I’d love a zol right now.”

She’s now moved onto my calves and is massaging with a lot less vigor than earlier, didn’t have much in her it seems.

“So… you smoke often?”

“I used to smoke a lot, helps me get to sleep.”

“I should try that, I also get insomnia sometimes.”

“Oh no, it wasn’t insomnia.”

“What was it?”

“Kat.”

“Hm,” I say, desperately trying to think of what to say next, “why don’t you just make him sleep outside or something?”

She stops massaging and unexpectedly, starts laughing.

“Oh my God, are you serious?” She says between giggles.

“What?”

“Kat, you know? The drug. You didn’t think I was talking about an animal cat did you?”

“Riiiight,” I reply. “That makes a lot more sense.”

She bursts into a fresh peal of laughter, and surprisingly, I like the sound of it.

“I thought, ‘Fuck, what kind of cat keeps you awake every night? Is it a tiger?’”

“Hahaha! No, it’s not a tiger…”

She starts massaging me again as her laughter fades, she’s moved up to my quads now. It’s becoming quite clear to me at this stage that she has next to no idea what she’s doing.

“So, did you do a lot of it?”

She pauses before answering, “Ja, my friends and I ended up doing quite a lot.”

“When did you do it last?”

“Um,” she pauses, thinking, “about ten or eleven weeks ago.”

“Ok,” I say, “that’s not too bad, I mean, that’s pretty good right?”

“Ja, it’s the longest I’ve stopped since I started about two years ago.”

“Fuck,” I say, at a loss for words.

“It’s a kak drug. It takes away the most important things from anyone’s life, you know? Eating and sleeping.”

“Shit, that must be horrible…” She’s massaging my ass now. I know this is supposed to be turning me on, but I’m not feeling anything. Fuck I hope the situation changes soon.

“Ja, it is. And it sneaks up on you totally. One minute it’s once or twice a month, then more and more and more. Eventually it’s every day, and before you know it, it’s been two, three days and you still haven’t slept.”

“Is that even humanly possible?”

“I didn’t think so, well, not until I was on that shit.”

She’s moved onto my lower back now. Somehow she is managing to find every knot in there and make it worse.

“In fact, that’s how my friends started doing heroine, it was all they could find eventually that would get them to sleep” she says emotionlessly, like she’s explaining how they started stamp-collecting.

“Heroine? Jesus, doesn’t that shit completely destroy you?” This conversation is creeping me out.

“It does… I mean, they used to get sick, really sick when they weren’t using it. That’s the problem eventually, you have to take it just to feel normal, and without it, everything, even breathing, is painful.”

Silence descends. I’m not too sure what to say at this stage. Does she tell this shit to all her clients? Is she trying to open up to me? She’s now working the top of my back and my shoulders, but I wish she wouldn’t.

Everything below my shoulders feels like scorched earth. I’ll be lucky if any of the muscles she’s touched ever work the way they should again.

“Um… so what happened to your friends? Are they ok now?” I say, half-dreading the answer.

“Ja, they are all trying to get off it…” she says, but I know there’s more.

“That’s good…”

“One of them, my friend Annalie, drowned when she was high, so that made them realise that they were in trouble.”

“Oh my God… I’m… sorry to hear that…”

“She wanted a bath and fell asleep when she was inside. She sank under the water and by the time we found her, it was too late, she was already blue.”

“Shit, you were there?”

“Ja. It was bad, her boyfriend was also high, he pulled her out and just started hitting her chest over and over again, he didn’t know what he was doing, but she was already dead.”

“Fuck…” I can’t believe she’s telling me this. She doesn’t even know me… maybe that’s why.

“Well, you gotta take the good from a situation like that, I mean, if it stopped your friends from taking heroine, or even just made them realise that they need to stop, then she didn’t die for nothing.”

She stops massaging me and I can feel that her hands are shaking. She says nothing, just sniffs once, loudly, and silently wipes her face.

“Ok,” she says, straining to sound normal, “you can roll over now.”

-ST

08
Apr
10

Short Story: Animals In Love

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the years I’ve worked here, it is the universal truth that no matter how they might try to dress it up and pretend otherwise, humans are messy creatures and that is a fact.

Some of them loved a good, hard party and they’d leave the rooms smelling like a bar the next day, beer pooled in sour patches on the carpets, cigarette butts spilling out of ashtrays knocked to the floor, that kind of thing.

The Higgs brothers were crazy like that – Joe kicked the TV in one night when they were good and wasted, and Mike got a mean gash on his forehead because he was jumping on the bed and got whacked by the ceiling fan.

Their old man owned a hunting surplus store that didn’t make them a lot of money so they paid for the damage in gin traps instead. I was fine with that. Kept the wild animals away.

Some of them were bedwetters, and lemme tell you, the cleaning ladies hate a bedwetter, for obvious reasons.

Some of them were messy eaters and left our sheets stained with all manner of shit – salsa, ketchup, bacon fat, mayonnaise… at least I hope it was mayonnaise.

All those people, they were harmless folk. Messy folk for sure but harmless, and mostly I didn’t let it get to me that they treated my rooms exactly like they were, cheap places to spend a night after a long day’s drive.

But then every once in awhile, I’d get a call from the Big Bad telling me to book out three rooms, one next to the other and I’d put down the phone after a call like that and I’d swear under my breath because I knew what was coming.

The next day I’d find the two rooms on the outside untouched, Big Bad just hired them so no one else would, but the one in the middle? I’d find it looking like wild animals had torn it to shreds.

The mattress would be lying half off the bed, springs bursting out of it at every angle and the sheets would be drenched in sweat and spotted with blood, lying in a crumpled heap in the corner.

The pictures would be lying face down where they’d been torn off the walls and the curtains would hang ripped on the railings, faint, bloody stains trailing down them where they’d been clutched in desperate handfuls.

The cupboards would be broken from blunt force, the bedside lamp would be a sad and tattered mess, the basin in the bathroom would be shattered and the floor would be drenched an inch of water from the broken faucet.

Anything that was glass would be smashed – windows, mirrors, anything. Those animals even managed to destroy the ceiling fan once, I found it turning in slow, lopsided circles, with only one propeller left on it. Not even Mike’s thick head ever managed to do that.

At first I thought the Big Bad was getting people murdered in those rooms, maybe people who owed him money or who had wronged him in some way. He never let me see the people who checked in, that was part of the deal and the next day he’d send one of his boys over with a bag full of money, more than enough to repair the damage, so I kept my mouth shut.

Still though, it was fuckin’ weird and I couldn’t stop my mind ticking over and over every time that phone call came.

In the end it was the screaming that really got to me. I can turn my back on a lot of things, more than I’d care to admit, but the sound of a woman screaming? You gotta be one cold-hearted bastard to not let that get to you.

I convinced myself that Big Bad was renting the room out to the worst kind of people you could imagine, maybe thugs of his who liked to beat up women and worse. Maybe that’s how he rewarded his hired guns, rented out these rooms in the middle of nowhere and let them do whatever the hell they wanted with them.

So one night I stayed up, listening and waiting because I had to know and even though it fucked me up pretty bad, what I saw, I’m glad I saw it.

Around four o’clock in the morning things finally went quiet in the room Big Bad had rented and a calm descended over the desert around us that was so deep, I swear you could hear the moon setting in the pale sky.

I climbed into the back of my truck and pulled the tarpaulin sheeting over myself, leaving a tiny gap for me to watch through as I peaked over the tailgate at their front door, about 50 feet away from where I lay.

It was there that I saw them.

He came out first, stooping as he stepped out the door in jeans, a black vest and more tattoos than you could ever count. His eye was swollen shut and crusted with dry blood, red scratch marks ran down his neck, and his shoulders were riddled with bite marks.

He was huge, carved from stone and had a mean look about him like he’d seen and done a lot of bad things in his life and he would see and do a lot more.

He scanned the parking lot for a few seconds and then slowly stepped aside, holding the door open with a thick, tattooed arm.

She stepped outside carefully, like a fawn, into the breathless morning, wearing his jacket.

She was every kind of beautiful that woman, but that’s not what stuck in my mind. What stuck in my mind was that after all that screaming and destruction, she stepped out of the wreckage of that room without a scratch on her.

And I knew in that instant that the screams I’d heard all those times weren’t from pain.

He closed the door softly once she’d stepped through it and she turned back to face him and gently put the palms of her hands on his chest and then lay her head between them, right where his heart was, to listen.

His arms rose slowly to encircle her and he tucked her head under his chin and closed his eye and they just stood like that for a long time while the sun rose red above the aching desert.

I don’t know how many years I’ve got left in me, probably a handful at best, but even if I lived another hundred, I don’t think I’ll ever see two people, two animals, more in love.

A black limo pulled up to where they were standing and she reached into one of his jacket pockets, took out a ring and put it on her left hand. She gave him his jacket back, wiped her face quickly and turned to get into the car.

He stood there watching her in silence until long after the limo had pulled away and the dust had settled, and then he jammed his fists into his jacket pockets and started walking down the road into the desert, the same way she went.

The rest of that day I didn’t do much but stare off from behind the front desk, lost in half-thoughts about what I’d seen that morning. By the end of the week it wasn’t much better.

A couple of months later Mike and Joe stopped by, asked how the gin traps were working out, so I lied and told ‘em they were working out just fine.

Truth is after that morning I dug a deep hole behind the shed, threw the gin traps in it and buried them, I don’t know why. It just seemed like the right thing to do.

The world carried on turning as though that morning had never happened, as it always has. The hours added up to days, which added up to months, which added up to years and I stopped thinking about those two. I just took it for granted that that big mean bastard finally met someone bigger and meaner or that that beautiful woman went back to whatever life was waiting for her in that limo and didn’t look back.

And so you can imagine my surprise this morning when I picked up the phone to hear a voice I hadn’t heard for nearly five years.

‘I need a room Sam,” he told me in that same old wolf-voice.

“Actually, make it three.”

-ST

23
Mar
10

Short Story: Smooth Baby

He couldn’t wait to go home. In all seven years of being alive, he couldn’t remember ever being so excited before.

His heart hammered relentlessly inside his tiny chest and his mouth felt cotton-dry as he fidgeted and squirmed in his chair, bursting for a pee and not paying one scrap of attention to anything going on around him.

In his mind, all there was, was THE TOY.

He’d first seen THE TOY in a flea market when his mom was shopping for some black dog to grill for supper. Amongst the chaos and the noise and the thick clouds of oily smoke that mingled and moved like dragons through the narrow, dirty alleyways, he’d spotted it.

At first he wasn’t quite sure he’d seen correctly. He adjusted his glasses, thick as coke bottle bottoms, on his practically non-existent nose and squinted across the alleyway at the adjacent stall.

There it was. THE TOY. The most incredible toy ever invented. The second he comprehended what he was looking at, the child’s mind came alive with possibilities.

How was it possible that such an amazing toy had come into being? He had to have it. He would do anything to get it, even crawl over his own dead mother.

He immediately started tugging frantically at his mother’s leather pants, squealing at the top of his lungs, much like a pig being skinned alive.

His mother had never seen her son so furiously locked in paroxysms of overwhelming desire. The way he twitched and screamed almost involuntarily frightened her and she struck him hard on the back of his head to try and knock some sense into him.

If only it had been that easy.

That night, her son refused to eat any of the succulent dog she had prepared for him. He sat in a slack-jawed kind of daze while a thick, translucent trail of drool crept steadily from the corner of his mouth to his shirt front.

He sat like that for days, wasting away. Eventually she began to fear for the child’s life as he halved in size before her very eyes and so, in a huff of desperation, she finally agreed to buy the child THE TOY for his next birthday in three weeks time.

The change in her son was instant. He leaped up from where he was sitting and began to hop around the room, singing irreverent songs of praise to no one in particular in a language only he understood.

The bell for the end of school sounded like a prison exoneration as the boy, after three torturous weeks of jittering constantly and wetting his pants in excitement, jumped nearly two feet in the air and bolted, legs pumping, to the parking lot outside where his mother sat on her motorbike with his present neatly wrapped in her hands.

He ran in slow motion, the sun shining down like a host of holy angels above him as tears of unrepentant joy streamed down his face.

This was finally it, the moment his brief life had been building towards, the reason he was sure he existed.

Finally, finally his wildest dreams had come true.

Finally, he could shave the baby.

 

15
Mar
10

Short Story: Who The Fuck Is SlickTiger?

‘So yeah, this SlickTiger guy, he’s got a site, I read some of it the other day, it’s really crazy shit up there. Really crazy shit. I mean, reading it I feel like we’re connected somehow – does that sound fucking crazy to you?’

Dr Schmeizer shifts slightly in his chair, sighs and rubs his eyes.

‘Yes. That does sound fucking crazy to me.’

‘Um, are you allowed to say that?’

‘Say what?’

‘I dunno, swear at me during a consultation?’

‘Under normal circumstances, no.’

I start to say something, but the good doctor cuts me off, ‘But considering you come in here sprouting the same gobbledy-gook week after week, month after month since we started these sessions, and considering your total lack of progress during that time, I hardly think it matters what I say or don’t say.’

‘Yeah, but I pay you to be professional. I pay you a lot to give a shit.’

‘Do you know how many sessions we’ve had so far?’

‘Of course! I’m paying for them, of course I know…’

‘Ok, how many?’

‘Um…’ I cast my mind back. I get as far as about a month ago, I’m wearing my ‘The Internet Is A Fad’ shirt, driving here. Some guy in the traffic is waving furiously at me. Do I know this person? I’m swerving to avoid getting side-swiped by the crazy fucker.

No, it can’t be a month, it must be longer. I cast my mind back further. It’s like throwing a fishing line out there. I remember when I was a kid learning to fly fish, watching my dad, the long, slow motion of his line like an extension of his arm, the way the reel used to spin, making that zinging sound as it unravelled. I do the same in my mind, I cast a line way the fuck out there, the reel zings, then snags abruptly, cutting the line.

I watch as the line floats through the air, anchored to nothing. It sails over the opaque waters of my mind, and lands like a long, thin snake on the water.

It sinks.

‘Um…’ I say again, stalling for time, ‘like, about three months?’

The good doctor’s head slumps forward and he stares at me through his thick, heavy brows. This is a passive-aggressive gesture, he’s doing it to show me he’s pissed off. I’m always pissing someone off.

‘Try six months. September 28th, that’s when you first started coming here, do you remember that?’

Do I remember that? Sure, I think I remember that. I mean, if he remembers it then it happened right?

‘I dunno doc, I try not to sweat the details, things like that, they’re neither here nor there really, I say three months, you say six months. I mean, in the universal sense of time, does it matter? In the universal sense of you know, the way things work, is it really a big deal? I don’t think it is. This conversation, my life, your life, I think maybe we j-‘

‘I took the liberty of recording our last session.’

‘Eh?’

‘And if you don’t mind…’ The doc opens his desk drawer and pulls out a dictaphone. He hits play, I’m saying something, but he stops and fast forwards it, he’s saying something, he stops and fast forwards again. I’m saying something. Boy do I love the sound of my own voice.

I dunno doc, I mean, life’s too short to sweat the small stuff, y’know? Does it really matter how long it’s been?

Humour me.’

Ok, phew, um…’ uncomfortable silence, broken only by the sound of me squirming in my chair, in the recording and in real life. ‘About 3 months?’

‘It’s been six months.’

‘What? Really, that long? Phwoar.’

‘Does that surprise you?’

‘Yes. No. A little. But really, in the bigger picture, is it really that important? I mean, in the universal sense of time, does it matter? In the universal sense of you know, the way things work, is it really a big deal? I don’t think it is. I could be wrong. But I don’t think it is…’

He hits the stop button. This profound silence hangs like a punching bag in the room.

‘You have a serious problem,’ he says, his hands doing that pyramid thing when people touch the ends of all their fingers together and move their palms forward and backward. I think this is supposed to have some kind of calming effect. It’s like watching lungs. Or a jellyfish.

‘Hahaha, okay, and it’s taken you six months to figure that out?’

‘Your memory is abnormally impaired. In most cases, once a number of weeks have elapsed, it seems you forget things completely. The people you’ve met, the things you’ve done. In other cases, it’s instant.’

‘Huh. You don’t say.’

‘It’s a rare condition, and I must admit, I’ve never seen it before. I’ve heard of it, but I’ve never seen it.’

‘Okay. That’s… fucking great…’

‘There are a number of psychiatric drugs we can put you on to try and improve your memory function and promote higher levels of concentration, I th-‘

‘What?! No fucking way. No drugs.’

‘You have a very serious problem and I really think what wou-‘

‘I didn’t come here to get dosed up to my eyeballs, what the fuck?! I came here so you could help me figure out why the fuck everyone thinks I’m someone I’m not!’

‘SlickTiger?’

‘Yes! Fucking SlickTiger! Who the fuck is SlickTiger? Why the fuck does everyone think I’m SlickTiger?’

Dr Schmeizer stares at me through his brows again. Man is this going well. He presses fast forward on the Dictaphone. The sound of the heads whirring inside, intricate mechanisms spinning, working like tiny insect bones inside the machine.

He hits stop. He hits play.

I’m not interested in your bullshit miracle cures! What the fuck?! I didn’t come here to get prescribed a bunch of bullshit drugs that are going to make all my fucking problems go away! I came here for answers! I came here to figure out if I’m losing my mind or not! I need to know that shit!’

‘You need to know what shit?’

‘I need to know who the fuck SlickTiger is!’

It’s like staring into a mirror reflecting a mirror, reflecting a mirror, reflecting a mirror…

‘It’s you. It’s always been you. You just don’t remember.’

I say ‘Holy shit’ at the same time the me on tape says ‘Holy shit’.

The good doctor hits stop. I slump back in my seat. Sandbagged.

‘So… does this happen every week?’

‘For the last four weeks, yes.’

‘And you think drugs will help me?’

‘Yes, it can’t hurt to try.’

I sigh. Do I want to go down that road? There’s a reason I’m forgetting all this stuff, do I want to know what that reason is? It feels like a bottomless can of worms.

‘Okay, I’ll try it, what the fuck. Why not.’

‘Excellent. And in the meantime, I need you to do me a favour.’

‘What, like a homework assignment? I’m not good with favours, I always forget the- oh yeah, you already know that.’

‘I want you to get off your lazy fucking ass and write something funny for fuck’s sake!’

‘Excuse me?’

‘Something funny! I don’t read your site everyday for this metatextual bullshit! I read it for the Klapping Gym Boet articles! Stop fucking around or I’ll go read some other site. LOL-cats or something. Maybe Motifake. Do you understand me?’

I understand him. And I know what I have to do.

‘You’re fucking fired,’ I say as I get up to leave.

‘You say that every week.’

‘Yeah, but this time I’m fucking writing it down!’

I storm out of his office, slamming his door hard behind me. What a fucking jerk. I can’t believe I’ve been going to him for such a long time. Three months totally wasted, what the fuck.

Outside I light up a smoke. It looks like it’s going to rain, did I do any washing? Maybe. But fuck the washing, I’ve got bigger fish to fry.

Like figuring out who the fuck this SlickTiger guy is.

Yeah… I think I’ll start there…

-ST

10
Dec
09

Short Story: Tasting Salt (A Fragment)

I’m waking up to the sound of my cell phone ringing and as I open my crusty, sleep glued eyes and look around to try and figure what the fuck is going on, I realize that I stink of sour booze and am still very, very drunk.

I’m in my bed, well, technically, I’m on my bed and I’m still wearing most of the clothes from my 21st and the bed sheets feel sticky underneath me. My curtains are still open and the lamp by my bedside is still on – Jesus! How did I get here? Also, my skull feels cracked and my mouth tastes musty and stale, like I ate a couple of mouthfuls of dung last night.

The goddamn phone’s still ringing – where the fuck is it? Maybe I should just go back to sleep? My hand flops around on the bedside table, near where the ringing is coming from, but no phone, I just knock the lamp over. I feel so thick and sludgy; I don’t know what the fuck is going on. I roll closer to the sound of the cell phone ringing and flop off the bed and realize that my phone is under the bed and answer it.

‘H’lo?’ I say, my swollen tongue lolling uselessly in my mouth.

‘Baby? Jesus, I’ve been trying to get a hold of you since eight this morning, why don’t you answer?’ It’s Chrissy.

‘I think a truck hit me.’

‘Are you ok? Where are you?’

‘In my bedroom, I’m fine.’ This conversation is already starting to irritate me, I get up shakily and rub my face. Something crusty flakes off. I see glass of water on my desk. I drink some.

‘You weren’t fine last night.’

What? When did I see her last night? I drink more water and try to remember what the hell I’ve been doing, but all that comes to me is that beach I swear I woke up on. That was real, all this other stuff is bullshit.

‘Baby? Are you still there?’

‘Yes, and I was fine last night, just grumpy, I’m sorry you had to see me like that,’ I figure this is a safe bet, I usually get a little out of hand when I drink. Maybe I ran into her last night and got a little rowdy, sometimes I do this.

‘I don’t blame you for being upset, I’ve had some time to think this morning and what I did was wrong, I’m just so confused, Rick and I just happened, it meant nothing…’

Now I’m really racking my brains. What have I been doing? Where have I been? I remember celebrating my 21st and going out afterwards and I think I played a couple of songs live somewhere and there was some kind of fight and a couple of bongs probably, and then a lot of walking, and then… some kind of… argument? Was that before or after? Then waking up naked on a beach, that must have happened yesterday, that’s probably why I feel so crusty, all the sea sand and salt still stuck to me. But that doesn’t make sense, none of this shit makes any sense – who the fuck is Rick?

‘… it’s just that you flew into such a rage when I told you, I’ve never seen you like that, God, you had this look I’ve never seen before and I was so worried that you might do something stupid last night –‘

‘Wait, are you sure you saw me last night? When did you see me?’

‘Last night! Don’t you remember?’

‘Sure, sure, yes…yes…’

‘Baby? I want to see you, I’m worried about you, you really scared me last night…’ But I’m not listening really any more, I’m looking at my hands…

‘…I know it’s been hard, it’s been hard for me too, but we agreed this was for the best…’ Now I’m hearing her voice tiny and far off because I’ve dropped the phone and I’m walking into the bathroom and I’m not feeling very well…

‘…I don’t want to lose you, baby, and I’m so scared that you’re going to do something stupid…’

I can’t hear her anymore, she’s too far away now, I’m in the bathroom, I’m standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom and I’m looking at the person who is supposed to be me and I think I’m going to be sick because I’m covered from head to foot in dried blood and I’m pretty sure it isn’t mine…




A Word From The Kind Folks At Nokia

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