Category Archives: Fiction

slingshot legs//donuts & woody harrelson

Hi kids. How ya doing? It’s time for some flash fiction and a little bit of poetry. This first piece comes from a friend of mine over at fictionmostly.com and it’s titled:

her slingshot legs

I brought my face up and looked through her slingshot legs.

“Jesus, you melt in my mouth,” I said.

She guided me back to her flesh fountain. “Don’t talk with your mouth full,” she instructed. “And don’t call me, ‘Jesus.’”

After we fed one another, she turned and faced the wall. She would sleep soon. “Lock the screen door, too,” she said. And I did. And on the way to my car, I saw the same cat as always, a little mountain dividing the road. I waved and it didn’t wave back, but we had an understanding — visit its neighborhood, yes, but live here — never.

-Tommy Tung

  And because breakups inspire [terrible?] poetry I give you:

donuts and Woody Harrelson

I saw the best minds of my generation

Get the shit kicked out of them by love

Strong weary men

Crumpled and whimpering, wailing

The names of their odd bedfellows

turned to ash on their tongues

My name

I did this

I did this

I broke you

You held my heart in your hands

and I took yours between my teeth

I broke you

You broke me too

But I tasted it first

And now I’m nothing but a tourist

And all the weed is gone

(You never liked my smoke)

And I’m sleeping to dream about

threesomes with hot bitches

and Woody Harrelson?

Woody fucking Harrelson!

Damn you HBO

Damn you San Francisco

I can’t decide if I’m hot or cold or dead

I never needed a sugar daddy

But I had you and our warm bed

where we fucked and watched

critically acclaimed dramas together

#houseofcards #FUtoo

The tears won’t come anymore

and I still need a release

50 shades of literary monstrosity won’t cut it

I can’t come

I can’t cry

I just ate nine Krispy Kremes

(classic, glazed)

And it’s too early in the morning for self loathing

“Just as love crowns you, so shall he crucify you”

Well call me motherfucking Jesus.

I wish I was still in your bed

Reader fiction: Call of The Bow

By Adam Gilbertson

The Rainbow Room on Sunset Blvd. is a three-story galleon of a bar, indefatigably sailing against the currents of time.  This is my third time making the voyage to this unyielding lair of rock.  I drift across Sunset; the ship rises from the murky depths of the present before me.  Angel is the glacially sized bouncer and he recognizes me this time.  “Yo, Scott, it’s all good,” he says, and ushers me past the line.  I draw baneful eyes.  My aesthetic normalcy makes me feel like I didn’t wear my suit to work—it’s all rock and roll leather here: everywhere I see jackets and pants and hair distending and shifting around me like some monstrous blob with a thousand faces.

I stop as I pass Angel.  “Dany here tonight?” I say.  I’m focused on my goal.  I’m not one of those multi-taskers.  When I get something in my head it’s all I think about, and Dany is in my head right now.  She’s been in my head for a month.  Damn.  I should have found out if she was working tonight.  Help me out, Angel; I need some luck.  “Third floor,” says Angel, grinning.

I step inside and everything is alive—for an instant the blob becomes a plexus of electricity: around me are the integral currents of a brilliant organism.  I don’t want to rush things.  I sit at the first-floor bar and grab a shot of Jack from the bartender, Tania.  Tania’s young for the crowd, maybe nineteen, and reminds me of Marilyn Monroe, “Comin’ right up, honey.”  I smile at how pretty she is but it doesn’t linger long; I’m here for Dany.  Tania slides over the Jack and I throw it back, slapping the empty glass on top of the cash.  A strong pull from my gut; it was a deep shot glass.  “Careful, babe,” says Tania playfully.  “Come find me later,” I tell her.  I don’t want to give all my attention to Dany.  A pretty little bird flying up to the third floor later could attract the right kind of attention.

I amble upstairs.  On the second floor I piss for about two hours, which is the third time I’ve done this in as many trips to the bar.  Cargo is the bouncer guarding the stairs to the third floor.  He’s a statue as I approach, but his name makes me think there’s something dangerous lingering behind his stillness.  His black cowboy hat and sunglasses make it impossible to get a read on him.  I detect, perhaps, a slight nod as I pass him, but then I think again.

When I reach the third floor I’m flooded with the presence of Dany, but I don’t look her way.  I keep her on the edge of my vision, a point from which she doesn’t retreat.  She stays there, playing with the threshold of form, casting her influence into my consciousness like some amorphous nymph.  I’m motivated but not narrow-minded.  Across from the boisterous bar is a staircase that leads up to a private room.  I imagine all the wicked revelry that’s occurred within the diminutive zenith.   I head toward it and spot Warden, the DJ of the steadfast galleon, leaning on the railing.

“Sco-taaay!” he calls as I approach.  “How you feelin’?”

“Straight west-coastin’.”

“Fuck yeah.”

He introduces me to a man who calls himself Train; Train is a garrulous face on the blob.  Our conversation leads to a question that seems to burst free from thick dungeon chains: “You guys got any lines?”  I don’t like drugs much but I’m grateful for the question because it’s about time I acknowledge the nymph on my periphery anyway.  Below the private room is a lowered dance floor, where the sweating bodies seem like they’re in a trance that can’t remember its genesis.  A little cave of a DJ room is dug into the wall next to the dance floor; Warden and Train head toward it.

“You know what to do,” I say to Warden.

“Don’t know if I can,” he says, turning back.  “Dance floor’s alive right now.”  But he looks at me and knows it’s my style.  “Fuck it.”

Warden and Train disappear inside the DJ booth.  The ambiguous rock fades and Hendrix’s “Bold as Love” sprinkles upon the scene like a warm rain.  Instead of dying the entranced dancers twist into each other and form a kind of serpentine congruity.  An abstract expressionist portrait of the limbs of senescent dreamers.  I lean against the bar on the opposite side of where Dany mixes a drink.  I want her to come to me.  She sees me and holds my eyes for a second longer than she would just another patron.  Her finally perceived presence, ostracized no longer, unnerves me and I’m glad I have a moment to compose myself.  Her hair is the color of dark embers and is done up in a back knot from which slick strands of hair swoop, like the peeled skin of some exotic fruit.  Her black lace top is separated from her jeans by a belt of milky skin, on which I can see the roots of a vine tattoo that disappears under her shirt and surfaces at her neck, as if it had broken through some midnight canopy to find that the sun had burst into a ruby-colored haze.  She’s in a trance of work; a bead of sweat adorns the top of her forehead like the jewel teardrop of a crown.  Her sylvan-green eyes find me; the tunneled eye-lock is a seductive labyrinth of possibility.

She pours two shots and puts one in front of me.  “Where’ve you been?” she says, and folds her arms on the bar, anchoring herself despite the empty glasses waiting for her in some trifling thirsty region.  She leans close.  Succulent cleavage suspended in air before me.  Undulating feminine fragrances floating.  Senses over-nourished.  Words drowning in whirlpool…  Mental shake.

“Oh you know, found another barmaid to bother somewhere.”  She laughs and I raise my glass to that.  Clink.

“Dany!” some asshole shouts from down the bar.  He acts like he’s one of the more venerated faces of the blob.  He’s bouncing a fake-titted blonde on his lap.  She’s too young to have fake tits.  Even as the asshole bounces her up and down the tits hardly budge.  They’re unshakable and cling to her chest like a pair of steroidal pectoral muscles.  She doesn’t seem to like being bounced like a little pet, but she’s a saturnine thing and doesn’t complain.  The tits probably weren’t her idea.

Dany squeezes my hand before she leaves.  Asshole orders one drink for himself and one for Titsy, but before Dany can come back to me he’s got his big mouth open again: “Why don’t you come over here,” he says to her.

“Yeah?” says Dany.

“Yeah,” he tells her.  He promptly bites into Titsy’s lips like a dog biting into a rabbit carcass and with a terrible twist of his head turns to Dany: “Care to join us?”  The crowd around the bar calls for her to join in and she listens.  Stillness takes me.  The rage I feel for Asshole burgeons like a freak accident in a laboratory.  Dany looks at me hopelessly for a split second.  She looks at me as if to say, “I’m sorry.  I have no choice.”  And while the three-way suck fest commences I escape into the crystal emptiness of my shot glass and the people around the bar cheer.

I like the confines of the DJ booth because it’s a sort of respite from the blob.  Within its solace I heal myself.  The stink of Dany’s ephemeral tryst with Asshole and Titsy dissipates.  I refocus.  Sharpen my wits.

Next to me Train has artfully produced five lines of cocaine on a CD cover.  It’s a Motley Crue album and Nikki Sixx’s face is on the cover, pensively looking out from behind the lines of blow as if he’s peering beyond the bars of an ice cage.  Train makes the bars disappear with a sequence of experienced nose-whisks.  Go free, Nikki.  Fly.

I have a little laugh with fate’s phantom presence—some ethereal manifestation, skulking over my shoulder—because just as I lick the last of my wounds and my mind gets right Tania and Dany, from separate points of origin, arrive and pop their heads over the plastic wall of the DJ booth.

“I was looking all over for you, honey,” says Tania.

“I was…so was I,” says Dany.

The aftermath of the tryst has warped Dany’s very presence.  I can see it in her face: the morose influence of the incident which had evaporated from my conscience the moment before is still ripe in hers, saturating her breath like a gas her lungs cannot escape, feeding the fire of her shame.  Tania, I believe, can sense it too, and, being such a playful bird, cannot help but toy with its heat, like the child who cannot help but throw the matchbook into the fire.

“Where are we going after work?” asks Tania, smiling.

“My house!” says Dany.

I decide not to mention the tryst at all; instead I will let it brew, along with my nonchalance and Tania’s nearly pugnacious jocularity, in the alembic which will produce the manifestation of my desire.

There are around fifteen people at Dany’s apartment on Las Palmas—a confluence of rock and roll atoms forming a rogue blob away from mother Rainbow.  I stroll in with Warden and Tania.  The din of guitars screams out of unseen speakers.  Alice Cooper’s madly grinning head is planted on a bookshelf, its neck mutilated from decapitation and its eyes leaking tears of blood.  Train is chopping up cocaine in the kitchen like he’s preparing gourmet appetizers.  He brings out ten lines on a ceramic plate.

And beyond the immediate madness looms a half-open door glowing with warm light.  Instinctively I understand the potential of the room beyond: Dany’s room.  Inside her apartment, my consciousness takes a new sheen.  I’m sure my eyes reflect my desire like mirrors; I’m sure they reflect the glow of a man possessed.  I want to cut you from the blob, Dany.  I want you to use me.  I have become a soulless instrument—debased, charmless, shameless.  I am a cold unthinking reptile with glowing eyes.  When Dany appears in the orange light, in the half-open frame of the door, I have the feeling she was born in fire, her incarnadine hair the lingering mark.  The blob parts for her as she walks to me and takes my hand.

“Want to do some?” she says, indicating the cocaine.

For you, Dany, I will.  For you I will tread at the foot of a cocaine waterfall and breathe till my lungs congeal.  For you I will inhale a winter’s worth of cocaine tornados.  For you I will snort until I become a middle-aged whore—brittle-boned, shrivel-skinned, spinelessly arch-backed with red eyes unable to cry.  For you, Dany.

Now there is a palm-sized cloud under my heart.  It lifts me, makes me stand on my toes.  But it’s a dangerous elevation: one has the feeling one might slip away, like an astronaut floating away from his ship with nothing to hold onto.  I’m dancing with Dany.  My fingers explore the ambiguous region between her hip and her ass.  I twirl her about the blob.  I am exquisitely aware that the faces here are flecks of coagulating blood, shed from a long-dead movement.  It appears as though a storm of beer cans had passed through.  The speakers are crackling electric elegies.  White ambrosia is being passed around to the chosen ones.  There is calculated pandemonium in the air and Dany’s lips are on my neck.  She twists and her ass presses against my groin and with a black fingernail hooks my shirt and leads me to the orange glow.

When the warmth hits me I stop.  I have the impression everything around me is becoming liquid.  The blob is a limbless beast, taking its last breath.  The rogue atoms dissolve into water as their conversations wash away.  It’s affecting Dany too.  Her hand drips from mine, liquefying.  The words she speaks float around me in atomizing bubbles.  Her face is becoming something like an aqua Picasso.  She is becoming one with the cataclysm.

I back away, escaping the drowning blob, and find myself back in my apartment.  There’s no sleep because my mind is not merely empty of Dany; it’s full of someone else—an exhumed vision cast into the ground a month before by the now-liquid nymph.

The house I pull up to looks the same as it did when I left the last time—it was the same furtive hour—yet I have the feeling something is off, as if the sun had risen in the wrong place.  I look at the time and it’s too early to knock on her door.  I’ve been up all night and there is a wan light in the air.  But I’m here and my eyes have lost their fuliginous glow.  This is where I must be.  I am not a trudging anachronism.  I am not a torch-bearer.  I have no purpose of rousing revolution or renaissance.  I am not another face.

I knock.

She opens the door, donning a great turquoise robe, her hair spilling over it like chocolate rapids.  Her face is pale with sleep and morning.

“Scott?” she says, flustered.  And such a striking ruddiness conquers her cheeks it incites a mournful wail in my mind.  My ice-hearted sojourn was just long enough.  She is newly lost to me.

I get in my car and drive, the princely sun growing bolder in the sky.

 

Reader Fiction: Sleeping Linoleum

By John O’Hara

Midnight.  Shit.  Already late to the party.  Pulling myself out of my temporary bed at the W hotel, I scratched my hair out of its mess and headed to the lobby bar for a tequila.  I walked around a bit and found the food and ate some chips with bland dip.  Accidentally got some of the bland dip in between my fingers so I wiped it off on the underside of the tablecloth and headed to the patio for fresh air.  I scanned the crowd for familiar faces, recognized a few, and then closed my eyes. Sitting there I felt invisible.  I probably could have fallen back asleep but I heard a young woman’s voice growing louder.  She was talking to someone about northern California and when I pried my eyes open, she happened to be taking a seat at my table.

Beautiful.  Brunette – tan skin – short, straight hair: in other words kryptonite.  It was as if her soft brown eyes were only lit by the candlelight between us.  She asked me if I minded that she sit, and, naturally, I insisted.

Striking a match to her cigarette, she looked at me, exhaled her first drag, and then extended her hand to me.  I took hers in mine confidently and smiled as I told her my name.  I was about to ask for hers, when –

“I’m Tara, nice to meet you.”

A bubbly, curly haired woman who was obviously friends with my kryptonite joined in and told me the brunette’s name as well – Amelia.  I wished I had heard the name from her own lips, not Tara’s.  Tara took immediate control of the conversation.  I kept looking at Amelia for her reaction but Tara was talking really fast.  Trapped.

Amelia briefly smiled at me before averting her eyes for her last contemplative drag.  Clearly bored, she quietly waved goodbye and struck up a conversation with a Latin man in a black button down with white buttons.

Tara took a sip of her pineapple and vodka through two small red straws.  Amelia went inside, presumably for another drink. I couldn’t tell if Tara was genuinely interested in what I had to say or if she was just waiting to hear herself speak again.

I was desperate for another drink.  I should have gone with Amelia.  That would have been smart.

 

Outkast’s “The Way You Move” was playing on the dance floor.  I could see Amelia dancing with the Latin guy.  It looked more like a high school dance than an adult afterparty.  During our silence, I asked Tara for a sip of her drink.  My drink was already gone, social anxiety I guess.

“Tara, I’m gonna get another drink, you want anything?”

“I think I’m okay, I’ll get one a little later…”

They did last call early so I got a tequila and beer this time.  I think it was the hotel’s ploy to make money off the mini-fridge.  Amelia laughed at me double fisting the drinks.  She had a real warmth about her.  She smiled as I spoke to her.

 

The bar closed so I walked Tara and Amelia to their room, which was conveniently on the same floor as mine.  I invited them into my room to finish our drinks and they agreed without hesitation.  Amelia and I chatted on the couch while Tara took a quick rest on the bed.  Suddenly, Tara jumped off the bed and went into the bathroom.

When Tara came out, she was even more talkative than before – sniffling like she had been crying.  But she wasn’t unhappy; she began biting her lower lip like she wanted to fuck.   Gauging by her ring, she had a husband and I was good on that.   For his sake, I hoped her gesture was only because she was high.

She asked us if we wanted some “devil’s dandruff,”  but Amelia and I were good on that too.  Tara pouted and stormed into the bathroom for another, “Fine.  Y’all are no fun.  You know that?”

Amelia and I were subconsciously inching closer to each other while we talked.  I love that moment before anything happens. It feels honest, pure even.  As our kissing grew more passionate, I put my hand underneath her bra and made her nipples erect as I bit her lip.  Almost reactively, Amelia pushed me away from her.  I thought I might have bit her too hard, but then, “What happened to Tara?”

Just my luck.

Amelia went to check on her.  I sat for a moment frustrated, and then stood up and tucked my excitement down the left leg of my pants.  Amelia walked out of the bathroom like a mother coming home to crayon murals on her recently re-painted walls.  I poked my head around the corner and saw Tara face down on the toilet seat protector with the bag of coke ripped open.  I rubbed my temples, hoping that she would be okay and that I wouldn’t be held responsible for her actions.  She was fine though.  She managed to murmur some words.  I grabbed Amelia  and pulled her onto the bed and started going down on her.  I threw her legs over my shoulders and began to relax.  I get pleasure from giving pleasure, plus she had great skin.  I could feel the mattress moving unnaturally. Amelia kept looking at her friend passed out on the bathroom floor.

I flipped Amelia over and began kissing her above her panty line, but she looked over at Tara again and then buried her face into the sheets.  “I’m sorry, I can’t do this.  With her…like that.”

In an instant it was over.  I carried Tara to their door and gave Amelia a strong, yet brief kiss.  She slipped her number into my pocket and told me to call her.

I closed the door to my hotel room and leaned against it.  I let her go too easy, I thought.