Categories
Short stories

Hell is me

3.  I ‘ve been trying to fuck not sleep with Lucy, Jane, Mary, Jean, Elizabeth, May, Wendy, Lilly, Fanny and Viv. The beds are too small. My back is as bent as… I am going to fuck each and every one before they move on. Everybody moves on. I will not move on…

7. I was playing with her breasts. They were big and soft and I enjoyed playing with her breasts and when I had them in my hands, I disremembered the world the school… I could see my fingerprints all over her pellucid breasts. I went to touch her and she stopped me and said she had frosty knickers. I was confused, I had never heard of frosty knickers, I feared for my fingers. She pulled down her blouse and looked at me. Her chin was red raw and her lips were starting to bleed. We had been kissing a long time. I enjoyed kissing her and when I was kissing her, I disremembered the world and the school… She stood up and I stood up. She was much taller than me. She held out a hand. It was a dirty hand and I handed her the cigarette. She took the cigarette and kissed me on the brow as my mother would do as I made my way to bed…

9.  It’s the only thing that still works. It is still big, very big, girl swooning big, girl retching big, spit gathering, puke inducing big, throat tickling, rib tinkling, heart touching big, it is big, big big big big big BIG BIG, onomatopoeia impelling big, three leg big, once awed, faint causing, world death scream, apocalypse big, now a three leg joke big. I am back to the size when I was nine, but not it, it is big big big big big big BIG BIG. My back, my back, my nose scrubs the ground, collecting the debris, my pate is forever bloody, knocking into this, banging into that, I’m a bull on wheels, O Picasso. But it is big, big and strong, strong, throbbing, throbbing, throbbing, strong, nagging, nagging, calling, reminding, reminding, always reminding me. It has sucked the life out of me, the parasite. It has drained me. I sleep on my back, I rock like a seesaw, the fulcrum is the coccyx. The bastard…

10. I have been here the longest, I do not recall when or how or why or if or that or this. I will never leave, never leave. They come and go, Lucy, Jane, Mary, Jean, Elizabeth, May, Wendy, Lilly, Fanny and Viv, the names change they tell me, but they will always be my Lucy, Jane, Mary, Jean, Elizabeth, May, Wendy, Lilly, Fanny and Viv, they say they look different, but within the nebula they will always be my Lucy, Jane, Mary, Jean, Elizabeth, May, Wendy, Lilly, Fanny and Viv, nubile, coquettish, blonde, blue eyed, long legged, big titted, frosty knickers. Wilson’s Heavenly Home, the irony. I sit in my wheelchair, in the penumbra, not a stir, not a zephyr, I still possess the fancy words, and watch, watch my Lucy, Jane, Mary, Jean, Elizabeth, May, Wendy, Lilly, Fanny and Viv, my legs, my arms, my neck refuse my orders, I was an officious man, verbose, I always got what I wanted, my way, I always had my way. I will never leave, nobody will ever come for me, take me away. In my room, I have whiskey, gin, vodka. When Lucy, Jane, Mary, Jean, Elizabeth, May, Wendy, Lilly, Fanny and Viv walk past me to the games room, to the dining room, when they are heading to bed I whisper to them, I tell them about the luxuries in my bedroom. Their eyes light up, the dull skin blazes with color, their mouths drip with saliva, they wet themselves. However, women of our age can no longer hold their booze, two sips and they are asleep.

Paul Kavanagh

Categories
Short stories

OZ ON THE MOON

     Lee Harvey Oswald is walking over the moon, wondering if the Holocaust really happened. Jimmy Hoffa happens by in a rocket ship exceeding the speed of light. Snatches Oswald like a brass ring. Tries to interest the lone nut in hitting Bobbie.

     Lee says he is busy that night. Gonna catch a flick with this Russian babe in Havana. Maybe then drinks. After that – who knows?

     Hoffa snorts in supraluminal disgust. Slows the merry-go-round. Dumps the youngster off on Charon.

     Lee pays the fare to Pluto. Teleports down an obelisk up through a toilet in the men’s room of a gay bar in the French Quarter. Where he bumps into J. Edgar Hoover adjusting his nylons. 

     Lee excuses himself, queasy with warp-lag. Throws up in the sink. Hoover pats him on the back. Asks if maybe a kid who shows so much guts wouldn’t maybe like parachuting into Cuba to assassinate Castro?

     Oswald spits one last chunk at the rusty drain. Wipes his mouth. Sneers up into the mirror at the pig behind his back that murder is not exactly his idea of fair play.

     Hoover fiddles with a bra strap. A signal to the agent crammed into the cupboard under the sink to start a file on this suspected bi-sexual Soviet mole.

     Oz exits the john. Is waiting at the bar for his Cuba Libre, when undercover NOPD detectives in Hemingway drag arrest him for mopery. Drag him out into the alley. Where Werner von Braun, working hand in hand with Dr. Mengele, using V-2 technology combined with Nazi medicine, vacuum the little goof back to the moon.

     He hobbles over, hands cuffed behind back, to the Tranquility Base flag. Kicks despondently at the trash around the pole.

     The Lone Nut, America’s most unknown patriotic patsy, burns to salute Old Gory. Drops to his knees. Dies of a broken heart, hallucinating Marilyn singing Happy Birthday to Jack Ruby. 

     He’s up there tonight, is Oz. You can glimpse him yourself, even through a cheap spyglass, crumpled in the dust, sobbing his heart out for the bullshit that is America. One nation, named after a wop, under surveillance, founded on rape, slavery, paranoia and the Amway.       

Willie Smith

Categories
Short stories

kitchen sink

On the brown fake leather couch Lucrezia with her mouth fucked Robert and Lucrezia with her mouth fucked Matthew and Lucrezia with her mouth fucked Robert and Matthew and Lucrezia with her cunt fucked Robert and Lucrezia with her mouth fucked Matthew and Lucrezia with her cunt fucked Matthew and Lucrezia with her mouth fucked Robert and Lucrezia with her cunt fucked Robert and Matthew and Lucrezia with her cunt fucked Robert while Matthew watched and Lucrezia with her cunt fucked Matthew while Robert watched and Lucrezia with her cunt fucked Robert while Matthew jerked off and Lucrezia with her cunt fucked Matthew while Robert jerked off and Lucrezia with her cunt fucked Robert and Lucrezia with her anus fucked Matthew and Lucrezia with her cunt fucked Robert and Lucrezia with her anus fucked Matthew and Lucrezia with her cunt fucked Robert and Matthew and Lucrezia with her anus fucked Robert and Matthew and Lucrezia with her anus fucked Robert and Lucrezia with her cunt fucked Matthew and Lucrezia watched Robert with his mouth fuck Matthew and Lucrezia watched Matthew with his mouth fuck Robert and Lucrezia watched Robert and Matthew with their mouths fuck Robert and Matthew and Lucrezia watched Robert with his anus fuck Matthew and Lucrezia watched Matthew with his anus fuck Robert and then Lucrezia sitting on the brown fake leather couch made Robert and Matthew lick her cunt and Lucrezia on the brown fake leather couch made Robert and Matthew lick her anus until Lucrezia was happy very happy sleepy happy and happily Lucrezia slept.

Paul Kavanagh

Categories
Short stories

???????????????????

I drop the title of this story on the back of a snail. Go home give up says the poet Kowwowski. Come on I say I feel lucky. Kowwowski throws down the money. I lose the Milton epithet. Kowwowski says Luck has abandoned you today. I say Come now see those pigeons in the sky. I lose the Aristotelian beginning middle and end. I lose blisters warts boils cysts carbuncles abscesses hemorrhaging scabs sores crabs lice worms of insights and knowledge. I lose rude words grinding poverty brutal gestures sexual depravity intense human interest unhappy marriages sordid background an atmosphere of acute misery.  I told you so says Kowwowski with a sloppy smirk with a grinding grin with a cacophonous chuckle I know I know I say But surely if I put money on that car beating that truck so far I’ll win it all back.  Go home says Kowwowski My poem is complete I will not suffer defeat I say Let us play cards Poker says Kowwowski. I lose the quintessential existential anti-hero to Queens. Into the pot I toss the subplot subtext the submarine. That’s paltry says Kowwowski Wait I say I have a prostitute down on her luck in the muck without luck Hell no says Kowwowski I’d rather have the commas Take them I say and let’s have a drink and then we’ll box for everything else the whole shebang. We wrap towels around our fists and sheathe the towels with plastic bags. Kowwowski says Let’s get it on. I b-r-r-ring the bell. Kowwowski throws jab jab jab and I lose the chase the race the slaying of the dragon the gold the mold the deflowering of the damsel the key to the enigma the delight at the dénouement.  I throw uppercut uppercut uppercut. Kowwowski clocks my right eye. There’s goes my dignity my territory my lucidity. I bop the nose. Kowwowski brings blood to the bottom lip. There goes the cosmic soup the dream residual the Vicoan loop.  I surrender my Quotation Marks. Kowwowski gets me on the ropes and pounds my pate bats my bollocks forays my face and I lose my grammar and Kowwowski while erranding the ears nullifying the nose chiseling the chin says Boy your Grammar sucks.

Paul Kavanagh

Categories
Short stories

The Man Without Pain

Come see The Man Without Pain says a painted sign. You follow the childish finger. The Man Without Pain is very ugly. The sign says a coin only. To reach The Man Without Pain’s tent you had to pass fleas that dance; fat ladies with huge breasts and beards; a giant as strong as Samson; dwarves that fight and maybe for extra coins fuck; skeletal women that dance and show their bald – yes, like plucked chickens – cunts; balloon-headed babies preserved in Mason jars with overgrown penises. You stand in the line. Hands stuffed in pockets. Fingers fidget with the coin. You think should I, is it worth it, shouldn’t I see the skeletal women with the hairless cunts instead. You peek over shoulders and wonder what is going on in the tent. You shuffle forward. Your breathing is quick, uneven, loud.  The cigarette hardly keeps the coals orange. Two carnies, smoking rolledup cigarettes and drinking moonshine from crack mugs, stand by the entrance. Dice roll over a sheet of wood. Loose money weighed down by the moonshine jar. They converse in a bewildering argot. “Fuck me” and “I anal fucked her.” They are there to break up the trouble and look after The Man Without Pain. The queue shuffles forward. Here the air is thick with cigarette smoke and boasting, “it will be over in one” and “I am going to picture my wife”.  What you think is popcorn in the muddy grass is a molar. It is your turn to drop a coin into the battered bowler hat. A nod. Ticket. A cloud of suffocating cigar smoke. Tattoos on a big arm. You enter. Eyes adjust. Breathing hard to do. Heart beats fast. The Man Without Pain is sitting, motionless and expressionless, on an old chair.  Six or seven kerosene lamps illuminate the inside of the tent. The smell of sweat and iron confuses you. The queue jolts. “Baby slap!” You are standing not on grass but sloppy mud that clings. A gramophone plays music, fast jazz, the Devil’s music, loud.  “Next,” says a sexy carnie showing a lot of leg and breasts. Whack! “Next!” To get here you had to walk past the Ping-Pong Ball & Fish Bowl and the Dime Pitch and the Duck Pond and the Cross-Bow Shoot and the Stand the Bottle. “Next!” A doctor with the first stages of Alzheimer’s showing sits behind The Man Without Pain drinking moonshine and smoking a thin cigar. “Next!” The sexy carnie is not that sexy.  Missing teeth. A deep scar on the right cheek. Eyes crossed. You step forward. Here the crowd is rowdy. Fights break out. “Hit him hard son.” Professional fighters show up and gamble on how quickly they can knock The Man Without Pain out.  You form a fist. “Next!”  A couple in the excitement start to fuck. She drapes a leg. He slips it in. They do it standing up. You have never seen it happen like this before. You can’t watch. “Move it jackass.”  You step forward. You realize the black paint hides the coagulated blood splatter. You look at your fist and compute the damage it could achieve if connected perfectly with the face. You make-believe a Boxing Ring surrounded by cheering Multitudes. You are about to fight the heavyweight Champ of the World for the belt. Fame. Riches. Women. The fucking couple look like they are dancing. “Next!” Fighting tongues. Four hands grabbing two behinds. “Next!” Gyrating. You see an exposed breast with an erect nipple. You hear the slap of flesh.  “Next!” It is you now. Your turn. The Man Without Pain closes his eyes. Teeth missing.  Nose broken. Lips split and hemorrhaging. Skin swollen and swelling and discolored.  Breathing even. You step forward. You pull back the fist. The line behind you inhales. “Go on!” and “Make it a good one!”. You tell yourself that The Man Without Pain is a bad man. You say he is a Banker. A Politician. The Hobo that made love to your wife and stole your good coat. There are two buckets. One holds cold water. The other blood and a sponge. You see a shadow move. It could be his wife. You heard he is married to contortionist and she is reportedly beautiful. You spit. You hate the bastard! The fucker! The cunt! When your fist lands on the face of The Man Without Pain it is you that winces, that huffs, that groans, that spits, that recoils in pain. He is expressionless, motionless, void.

Larry Caomhánach

Categories
Short stories

a maligned sister

Whom should I speak of? Speak up! Remember I am old and feeble. My hearing has gone. Her! Silence while my thoughts coagulate. Now they have coagulated. Her! Damn her boots! It was I that achieved not her. I was the one that lived. I travelled around the world, twice. A myriad of lovers passed through my sheets. I remember each and every one. Do you want me to tell you of them? Pirates and Conmen and Gangsters and Politicians and Kings never Princes.  My cunt was Aladdin’s Cave. She never left her room, never mind the city, or the country. I saw Wars and Revolutions and Death and my cunt was full. I danced with Kings and dined with Paupers. Still, you want to know about my silly sister. Fine, I will tell you about my sister, silly sister. But you already know all about her. They have probed, psychoanalyzed, constructed, deconstructed, reconstructed her. She got married, lived unhappily forever in her head, and well you… the end. She had pencils, papers, and that table. Right there you are – done.  The end. Goodbye. I on the other hand, well, let me tell you about the King of Corboyorl. He was a fine King and well hung a cock as hard as a rock as a big as Oh my legs quiver my cunt wets.  My sister, my silly sister. She was unfortunate I should say. Mundane looking. Nondescript. Nothing up there and maybe too much down here. The ankles. But she married her charming man. With his small cock and little vinegar. They moved into a big house. She got her room and her chair and that table. Don’t you think all her heroines are the same. Nothing differentiates them, don’t you think? They now call her Rhodopis. I remember Hylda Ramsbottom. Curlers and wool socks. She was nothing more than a little girl. Rhodopis, what a name. In the Kingdom of Corboyorl there lived Rhodopis. Now that sounds good. He was a randy old King and the veins in that beautiful cock throbbed like Oh my wet cunt. Had sixteen wives and numerous concubines, which I proudly say I was one.  Instead, we get: There was a poor girl, her name was Rhodopis, and she had to clean the cat litter, wash the dishes, and go to the market to buy pig trotters. Give me a break. She always had her head in a book. That’s all she did. And write. And write. And write. They say now that the Greek historian Strabo was the first to write about… How? … How? She was nothing more than a silly, little girl with a huge imagination. I will never forget the night she came into my bedroom and told me she had been conversing with a Fairy Godmother. Fairy Godmother! My like rubbing her own cunt! I could have dropped down dead. Turns out she sneaked into my favorite beatnik jazz café. The name escapes me. Probably smoked opium. I smoked tons of opium with the King of Corboyorl and then rode that big hard cock until come dripped down my leg. A night of opium and a hard cock, you can’t beat it. Turns out the Fairy Godmother was a man by the name of Rupert. You didn’t know that did you. Put that in your bloody book. And you know she wrote pornography under a pseudonym. Real hardcore stuff. Torture chambers. Whips. All the good stuff. I remember being chained and gagged and plugged and clogged in King of Corboyorl’s secret torture chamber. Oh, we had a wild time. One night we went to the movie house and watched Georges Méliès’ Le Royaume des fees. A wonderful movie. I am told. I met a young chap and sat in the back with him. Tried to shove a fist up me cunt he did. The movie filled her head with dreams of faraway places that never existed. Poor girl. Now her beauty is unspeakable. She was no Helen. The face that launched a thousand ships. I tell you that. She was no Cleopatra. She wasn’t very nice. Possessed a terrible tempter. Awful. Threw things. Had a knife. Knuckledusters. Oh, she could tongue lash you to death. I blame all those books our father made her read, she never wanted to read them, but he made her, he had tried with me, but I played the fool. What girl of ten wants to read One Thousand and One Nights, Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp, Ali Baba and the Fifty Thieves, The Eight Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor… what girl of eleven wants to read Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang by Tuan Ch’eng-Shih… He might as well have had her reading Les 120 journées de Sodome. Now I remember that. The King of Corboyorl would sit me upon his lap and read aloud passages while his fingers probed my wet quivering cunt.  Her head was full of the stuff, magic carpets, giants, talking animals. What rot!  Her head was filled with Apuleius, Lucian, and Petronius…Rubbish… Myths …Legends …Leg ends more like… The Golden Ass. I had a great ass. That damn U word, again. I could have strangled her. I will never use the U word.  For years I have been tormented by the U word. Can you imagine the shock, the horror, the betrayal I felt? Yes. I am a maligned sister!

T. Smith-Winstanley

Categories
Short stories

Subburnabla

Larry, Tim, Peter, Saul, William, Carl, Lee, Jake, Richard, Sam, Eliot, Macy, Lucy, Jane, Mary, Jean, Elizabeth, May, Wendy, Lilly, Fanny and Viv all live in Subburnabla and they are very, very happy. They work Monday to Friday and love their jobs. They drive to the station to catch the train. The train takes them peacefully into the city. Some read, some daydream, some sleep. They meet for lunch; they talk about work, about the news, about the weather. Some work in the same office. They congregate on the platform and wait for the train home together. Some yawn, some talk about their day, some are excited about getting home. On the train some sit in silence, others laugh, some make plans to have a quick drink at the local bar. Larry, Tim, Peter, Saul, William, Carl, Lee, Jake, Richard, Sam and Eliot after church go to breakfast with Macy, Lucy, Jane, Mary, Jean, Elizabeth, May, Wendy, Lilly, Fanny and Viv.

On the weekends their white shirts dry in the midday sun. Their dogs dig holes and bury the bones they were presented with for being good dogs. They shower to the sound of blenders mixing fruit. They shave to the sizzle of bacon. They run, stretch, play ball. On the weekends they enjoy barbecues and drink bottled ice beer that is advertised on the television. Their gardens are impeccable, the flowers bloom, the trees fruit, the soil is brown. They exterminate the worms, the ants, the beetles. Their cats feed upon the eggs of birds. Larry, Tim, Peter, Saul, William, Carl, Lee, Jake, Richard, Sam and Eliot drink cocktails in the morning sun with Macy, Lucy, Jane, Mary, Jean, Elizabeth, May, Wendy, Lilly, Fanny and Viv.

On Saturdays they go to the mall and watch a movie while eating buttery popcorn and drinking Diet Dr Pepper. On Sundays they go to church and pray to God to save them. They eat steaks, chicken, and pork. They coach football, softball, soccer. They laugh at the jokes they tell over and over and over again. They are interested in each others’ little histories. They share recipes and talk about the television shows. They are very excited about their DNA. They exchange music, movies, and ideas. Larry, Tim, Peter, Saul, William, Carl, Lee, Jake, Richard, Sam and Eliot bask in the sun around the swimming pool with Macy, Lucy, Jane, Mary, Jean, Elizabeth, May, Wendy, Lilly, Fanny and Viv.

The new dreams fade and linger with the old dreams. They stand outside and stare at the stars and smoke. They wave and say ‘good night sleep tight’ as the embers die, as the smoke dissipates. They love to sleep but fear rigor mortis. They drink cocktails in the morning sun. They overdose on a myriad of pills. The alligators feed upon the turtles. Every Monday a little girl wanders onto the road and is hit by a speeding truck. They stand at the curbside and cheer. They take pictures with their new improved cameras that just keep getting better. They erase all abstraction. Every Friday a little boy falls out of a tree. One day somebody came up with the idea to catch the boy. They grill hotdogs and drink Coca-Cola to the sound of bones breaking. Larry, Tim, Peter, Saul, William, Carl, Lee, Jake, Richard, Sam and Eliot dance with Macy, Lucy, Jane, Mary, Jean, Elizabeth, May, Wendy, Lilly, Fanny and Viv.

We help our neighbours to burn down their homes. We disable their smoke machines, we pour inflammable liquid on their back doors, we mess with the electrical systems. When the fire service turns up we act shocked, we ask silly questions and turn into obstacles. We stand and watch the fires. We break into our neighbours’ homes and steal jewellery, electronics, and money. We urinate on the carpets, we defecate in strange places. Foxes feed upon placentas. We teach our teenage daughters to sleep with cockatoos, wolves, lions. We force our teenage boys to rebel, to disfigure themselves, to smoke crack. Larry, Tim, Peter, Saul, William, Carl, Lee, Jake, Richard, Sam and Eliot get naked and sleep with Macy, Lucy, Jane, Mary, Jean, Elizabeth, May, Wendy, Lilly, Fanny and Viv.

Paul Kavanagh

Categories
Short stories

Death

He is dead. He cannot feel the bed underneath him or the blanket wrapped around him or the pillow that is propping up his head. He died in his sleep. Peacefully. His heart. He cannot move his arms, hands, fingers, or legs, feet, toes. This does not perplex him because he knows when you are dead you are dead. His mouth is open and he cannot close it. He is dead and there is nothing he can do about it. He is sure he is happy. Being dead. Happiness hitherto unknown. Incongruous. Ineffable. He doesn’t understand the happiness he is dead but he is sure that something is stirring not within you understand he is dead. He can’t believe it. Life is unfair. He’s dead but that happiness is everywhere. “Oh” and “Ah” fills the bedroom. “Ohhhhing” and “Ahhhhing” is the dead man’s widow. She, the widow, fell out of the bed and is now up and dancing, not dancing, her late husband is showing signs of rigor mortis.  “What I am going to do?” she says and adds “How am I going to live?” She lights a cigarette and smokesfuriously. He doesn’t complain. Smoke away. Cancer can’t harm me. I am dead. I am happy.  ‘The children and school and holidays and clothes and college and marriage and grandchildren” she says. A speck of worry fizzes as magnesium in water. “Who’s going to pay for the funeral” she adds “I mean a funeral nowadays is more expensive than a home or a car or a holiday.” The miasma once so thick and beautiful is nothing more than a diaphanous cloud of smoke and is swept away with an opened hand and that turns to a pointing finger. The fingertips and toeends itch. “A coffin is very expensive” she says “And the tombstone and the flowers and the cars to take us to the church and the church and the priest and the food and the booze and I hope Uncle Toby doesn’t get too drunk and cause a punchup.” He remembers his mother. He remembers his side of the family. He opens his eyes. He wants to shout I want stay dead. He doesn’t want to get up, brush his teeth, empty his bladder, dress, go down the stairs, turn on the television, have breakfast, and then go to work. Work. He forgot about work. Work. The time! He’s going to be late for work. “They will want a free bar,” she says.  A poke. A kick. A punch. Surge impels. Electricity flows. Anger.  Depression. Disappointment. He coughs. Clears his throat. He says “I want death.”  His wife says “I knew you were playacting” and pulls the blanket from him and the pillow that was propping up his head. He sniffs, quaffs the air, snorts, runs his tongue along his bottom teeth, scratches his balls, scratches his arse, readjusts the soft penis, farts, and wiggles his toes.

Paul Kavanagh

Categories
Short stories

The clever araña de rincón

A fly was caught in the web of the araña de rincón and the fly turned to the araña de rincón and said how come you recluse spiders are so recluse why is it that you hide in the nocks and crannies why do you hide when you have such a terrible bite and to stop the fly talking all night the araña de rincón broke a cardinal rule and said the araña de rincón bit the boy and the boy asked why the araña de rincón had bit him and the araña de rincón looked at the boy and said because I am araña de rincón and so the boy took off his shoe and crushed the araña de rincón and the boy’s father asked the boy why he had killed the araña de rincón and the boy said because father one day I will grow up to be a man.

A.M. de Rodas

(trans: Larry Caomhánach)

Categories
Short stories

Code Name

It starts with a phone call.

Hall, Oates is here, comes down the phone, loud.

He phones me up at all hours of the night. I think it has something to do with the time difference. I could be wrong. I am not very good with time or geography.

Hall? he says.

I cough to demonstrate that I am still on the telephone.

Silence is impossible, he says. It is a quote. He always quotes intellectuals. This time it is Maurice Blanchot. I introduced him to Maurice Blanchot. He always regurgitates my quotes – often misquotes and I have to correct him.

Please can we change my Code Name, I plead.

We have done this routine before – it vexes him.

What? comes down the phone, loud.

What about Lennon and McCartney? I’ll even let you be Lennon.

No.

What about Hemingway and Fitzgerald?

No.

I was going to say Batman and Robin, but he hates Superheroes.

I could be Oscar Wilde and you could be Marcel Proust, I whisper.

You are a decadent, he barks.

I was joking, I say, but seriously, what about Laurel and Hardy or Abbot and Costello?

We are not playing a game, he says.

He’s irate. It always happens this way. I give in.

Abandoned Luncheonette, I say. This is the Code saying I am ready. He tells me in the morning a parcel will arrive. Inside the parcel, I’ll find a cyanide capsule. I have to swallow the cyanide capsule.

Goodnight, I say.

Good morning, comes down the phone, gleeful.  

Aaron Peterson