Thursday, October 20, 2005

"COUGHING UP NAILS" is an extra special fast fiction based on artwork by Zachery Rossman. Snoop around his site and experience the thrill of going through another persons' belongings. The opening page of his site gives you the sense that you're staring at a wall at his place and everything inside is there for you to put your greasy fingerprints on. And the artwork is awesome.

So put that hammer down, unwrap another baloney sandwich, read this short-short story on the long banner trailing behind that plane in the sky and enjoy...


The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the sons. You turn this phrase over and over in your mind like it's a petrified piece of cloud. An incomprehensibility. A big why me.

"Suck ass, dickweed !!" your girlfriend shouts at a van that passes by. You come out of your stupor.

"You don't have to badmouth everyone that doesn't pick us up !"

"There was one guy driving that van. There was no excuse for him not to pick us up. I mean he looked big."

You stare at her.

"We're tiny pacifists. How could we be threatening !?"

Hitchhiking across Canada had been your idea. You wanted to retrace the route your father took twenty years ago, but now all you can think of is how nice a warm fire would be.

And then there's the pain.

You stretch your neck back a couple pops and look up to the sky. Ontario trees too small to be real trees have watched over your three hour wait for a ride. If they uprooted themselves and marched across Canada to do battle with BC trees they would lose. You try to take your mind off the familiar pain in your stomach by thinking of forests fighting across Canada. Way up high in the sky.

And then it comes in a clutter-clash of pain. Nails tearing their way up your throat. Memories of your father's incompetence. Splinters in your tongues. Charges being leveled against your father. Funerals of new homeowners. Blood.

The curse of your father that you will take to the grave.

"Come here. Come here," your girlfriend holds you as you vomit up nails from the house that crushed a family ten years ago.

You want to find something good in the ground below that your father traveled across.

Before he retired. Expired.

A colossal fuck-up in Terminal City.


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