Stung! is a short story about a guy getting stung by hornets. Dig the link below.
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Monday, September 7, 2020
Thursday, July 23, 2020
I was working on a two-week binge, drinking nothing but Gold Robitussin and Pepto Bismol when my dentist appeared at my rectangular door to hold an intervention. He arrived with seven hygienists. My dentist, Dr. Carr, is tough. He has a face like a landscape. He confiscated my Hydrox (the cookie, not the general) and then the hygienists started to do a frenetic Twist to no music. One of the hygienists reminded me of Sam Waterston (her carriage, not her face) and then a hygienist with a nametag that spelled, Bambi approached me like a sound wave. She smiled. She had meat in her teeth. I was afraid. She materialized a length of black dental floss and began flossing, flicking shreds of masticated steak at me. One of them caught me in the eye, making me squint and through this squinting I saw how pointless my life had become. How empty. I had achieved none of my goals; I never became a goalie. Dr. Carr approached me holding a drill. My face was covered with little steak spitballs courtesy of Bambi. He looked right at me and said, “I’m not here to fill your teeth. I have come to awaken your inner antelope.” I rubbed the steak out of my eye and said, “Wha?” He said, “I understand if you’re skeptical. And it takes some getting used to but I’m quite sure you’ll enjoy the change. Now, I’ll need to drill into your kneecaps to drain them. The knee sap will then be utilized in the antelope ritual.” “Okay,” I murmured.
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Friday, June 12, 2020
I run into my friend Tommy at Subway and ask him about our mutual friend, Gary, whose sorry-ass I haven’t seen in a while.
“Where’s he been lately?” I ask. “Homeless?”
“Didn’t you hear? He’s in the hospital, under quarantine.”
“Quarantine? Really? What for?”
“I dunno. Something he picked up in a swamp, I think.”
“Is it serious?”
Tommy shrugs. “It must be for them to isolate him like that.”
Tommy’s wife Janice comes out of the bathroom holding their one-year-old son, Jeremy, whose shrill screams echo around the restaurant. “Thomas!” Janice says. “Come on, let’s go!” She marches toward the exit with the squealing baby.
Tommy puts his hand on the side of his mouth, leans toward me and mutters, “Wish I could catch whatever Gary has. I could use a little isolation myself.”
“Ain’t that the truth,” I say only because it’s expected of me.
“Thomas! Now!” Janice yells.
I want to wish him good luck but don’t want to get him into any more hot water with the missus.
Saturday, June 6, 2020
Flowerbud sat in the corner, crying over the
graves of her dead flies.
"How much acid did you give her?" said Dan.
"Just one," Paul said. "I don't know what's
wrong with her."
Flowerbud picked up one of the flies,
She gazed at its tiny frozen legs, its fragile,
She began to wail a low mournful wail.
Paul was searching the overflowing ashtray
for a left-behind roach.
"She's gonna drive me nuts if she keeps that
up," said Dan.
Flowerbud tried to breathe life back into
the fly, gently blowing on it. Its legs vibrated
and for a second she thought it was coming
back, but no, it was only her breath that stirred
She placed the fly in a line with the four
"Shut the hell up!" Dan yelled. "For Christ's
sake they're DEAD FLIES! Get a grip on
Flowerbud picked up another fly. She
turned it over, shifting it from one hand to the
Paul gave up the roach hunt and sat down
on the floor. "Leave her alone. She's into a
"Shit!" Dan stormed over to her. He
stomped on the flies, mashing them to tiny,
Flowerbud began to scream, shrieking like
a woman in flames.
"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" Dan yelled. He
tried to snatch the last fly from her. She
cupped her hands together, protecting its
delicate insect corpse and said, "Leave me
"Gimme that fucking thing!" Dan said,
trying to pry her hands apart. "Open your
"Noooooo!" she screamed.
"Open! Your! Hands!"
Flowerbud forced her voice low and calm and said, "Okay, okay. I will. Get off me first."
Dan backed off.
Flowerbud opened her hands, popped the fly into her mouth and swallowed.
Dan looked down at her, disgusted. "Jesus.
You're a crazy little bitch."
Flowerbud smiled at him. She could feel the
fly coming back to life, tickling the soft walls of
She would shit maggots in a day or two.
P.S. This new Blogger isn't very good, sorry the thing looks so wonky. My patience ran out.
Dead Flies originally appeared in The Membranous Lounge. Still available.
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
So Norman plummeted. He was sure Beth, his 26-year-old daughter wouldn’t miss him. Despite their battling past she was still in his will. Her share should keep her in heroin for the rest of her life (meaning not long). Norman knew she wouldn’t use the money wisely; use it to fix her situation. She’d have enough to buy a house, but she didn’t seem to mind living in crab-infested flophouses. Letting sweaty repulsive junkies take advantage of her. What money that doesn’t get sucked into her squabbling veins will go to her lowlife squabbling friends. Beth was gifted with a generous spirit. She always shared her toys when she was little. Now she gave it all away.
So Norman plunged. The lion’s share of the inheritance would go to his little brother, Albert who would probably lose most of it at the dog track. Oh well, it’s not like Norman would care by that point. And that’s it, all his money would go to the two last living members of the Johnson clan. And he was sure they’d both use it to fuck everything up.
Norman dropped. Going through Annie’s illness, all the things he had to do to
get her through Hell—and Hell it was—changed Norman in a profound way. It
demonstrated how weak and afraid and ineffectual he was. He couldn’t save her. Every
day she slipped further away until she was gone. How ironic was that? Norman
Johnson, successful oncologist couldn’t even save his own wife. Let the
nattering commence. His drinking problem was well known. There had been
incidents. He couldn’t do surgery anymore because of his shaking hands. He
wished for one last drink now. He wished for Annie. He didn’t believe in an
afterlife. This was it. This was unbearable.
So Norman descended. He’d climbed the stairs to the top of the medical building and stood on the roof, looking down at the forty stories of relentless gravity below him. Then he closed his eyes and stepped off the ledge.
Monday, June 1, 2020
“Why did you hang up on me?” the woman inside the phone says. Her voice sounds familiar. It has a metallic taste.
“I didn’t hang up on you,” I say, which is true. I don’t know what she’s talking about.
“Don’t treat me like I’m dumb. I’m not that dumb!” she says and I suddenly realize she sounds like my great-grandmother Judith, only meaner. But since Granny Judy died ten years ago, it’s probably not her.
“I’m sorry. I think you have the wrong number,” I say, which is true.
“I said not to treat me like I’m dumb! I’m not dumb!”
I begin to wonder. “Sorry,” I say and hang up on her, sort of again.
I think, Boy, the real guy who hung up on her is going to get an earful now!
The phone rings again. I stare at it through five rings and then pick up. I do so with great trepidation.
“Listen, you ungrateful bastard,” she says, sounding more metallic, less Granny Judy. “You may think you can treat me like this, with all your high falutin’ money. But I’m a person! You can’t walk all over me! I’m a human being!”
I’m momentarily shocked into speechlessness. She’s supremely pissed. I gird my loins and tell her, “Look, I’m sorry but you really do have the wrong number.” I’m starting to feel sorry for her. I could be a wise-ass and prank her, pretend I’m the guy she’s calling and give her shit but she’s just a confused old woman. My mean-streak has mellowed over the years.
So I do the unthinkable. I hang up on her for the third (2nd) time.
I was on my way out but now I can’t leave. I sit down to watch the phone.
It doesn’t ring.
It doesn’t ring again. Maybe she finally gave up. Or maybe she finally dialed the right number. That poor schmuck.
It doesn’t ring again. I stand up, ready to head out. Halfway to the door and the phone starts up again. I should just let it ring, let the machine pick it up if she makes it to seven rings.
On ring six I lurch for the phone and pick up. “Hello?”
“YOU FUCKING DIE!” she shrieks and I slam the phone down.
Okay, I’ve had enough; I’ve got troubles of my own. I don’t need telephone drama from perfect strangers. There was something obviously wrong with the woman. She might have dementia, schizophrenia, who knows? She was obviously in deep distress and calling me wasn’t helping things at all. I grab my keys.
And the phone rings.
I move toward it. Another ring. I stand there. Another ring. I stand there.
Oh fuck it! “Hello?”
“The calls are coming from INSIDE the house!” screeches out at me followed by uproarious laughter. “You’ve just been schmeckled!” And a horn honks and another voice says, “I didn’t hang up on you!” mimicking me. I slam the phone down.
But I smile as I don my jacket. That was a pretty good prank.
I guess the joke’s on me.