Saturday, October 15, 2005

"CRIMSON CATERWAUL" is an extraordinarily special fast fiction based on this wonderful little work by my man Manfred Naescher. Manfred is an artist par excellence who can also kick a soccer ball like nobodies business. Once a week he organizes a friendly game of footie-for-artistes, a kind of sports-salon for those who prefer laughter to competition. He is remarkable.
If you find this whole illustrated fiction (or to be more accurate for this site - fictionalized illustration) thing inspiring, you might want to check out this competition to illustrate Yann Martel's Life of Pi.

But for now slide back in your vodka and cranberry juice filled kiddie pool which takes up your whole living room and enjoy...


"Which one's that constellation ?" she asks with her finger pointed to the sky. The tip of her finger shimmers with moonlight on earwax. She puts little stock in hygiene but he likes her all the same.

"That's called Parachuting Buffalo. You know all those buffalo runs where hundreds of them would run off a cliff ? Well this one had a parachute. Can you see it ?" He traces his creation with his index finger. He rests his cheek against hers to get as close to her point of view as possible. The left arm of her glasses digs into his cheekbone.

A hunger for any kind of flesh rises deep from within him. It's nearing midnight. The hour of the change.

"So I don't remember learning any of these constellations in school. Where'd you pick all this up ?" Her smile inflates her cheeks which raise her heavy framed glasses an inch on the right side of her face. With his head holding the other side firmly in place, they rest at a diagonal angle. She hates them but needs them to see the stars connected into constellations. She was worried they'd break this strange spell that he's under, this attraction that he feels for her. But now all she feels is the side of his head against hers.

"Oh, you know. Here and there. My father designed telescopes. I mean he was blind but that's what he did for a living." He smiles.

She giggles and he goes to kiss her while her mouth is open. Her glasses poke him in the eye.

A red wave of anger surges up within him. He can feel the change happening. He will taste flesh soon.

"Oh I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry," she says as she turns red and redder.

And redder yet while an army of angry bones, organs and sinew within her rearrange into something horrid and new.

It's midnight and they're both turning into beasts ready to feast. Their primitive minds have no room to acknowledge this coincidence. They are simply ready to fight and then feast.

The constellations above keep their shapes.

Friday, October 14, 2005

"DANCER IN THE DRUNK" is a super special fast fiction based on this amazing illustration by Zane Kozak. Oh and go visit his site, it's all up and down and boxes and shit. (It's the weekend man, I'm on vacation from articulacy. His site is great. Really.)


"Yup and that's why I'm gonna blow all your bucks to train to become a stenographer pornographer. Oh yeah... That's what I'm gonna do. You don't mind do you ? You'll gladly pay for school and carrots and pencils and everything. And then I'm gonna leave you after ten years of matrimonial mliss... batribonial bliss and run off with a pornographer. Here he comes waltzing into court..."

He finger-walks his fingers on the floor. He is propped up against the wall of his room but his head weebles and wobbles. He is stinking drunk.

"Oh and I'm here just typing, typing, typing, typing, typing, typing, typing, typing, typing, typing, typing, typing, typing everything down. Stenographering everything down. Oh but I can't do my job because he's so fucking good looking that I don't care what he did to deserve this courtly fate under the scrutiny of the judge."

Stumblingly, he picks himself up and smashes himself like a bottle of beer on the side of his fridge. He shatters into hundreds of pieces of glass.

Each piece is a broken reflection of his story.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

"CROSS EYED AND PREGNANT" is an extra special fast fiction based on an image by Peter Kruper, who I'm very stoked to have onboard as he's exceptionally talented and he illustrates Spy vs. Spy in Mad.


He opens the pages of a graphic novel to escape from his life which has been nothing but a charade of romantic cliches, lonely nights coin tossing his fate from the top of a building and one unfortunate tattoo after another but after he reads the tale of a man whose life is nothing but a charade of romantic cliches, lonely nights coin tossing his fate from the top of a building and one unfortunate tattoo after another, he balks at the implausibility of it all.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"WEEPY BOTTOMS" is a fast fiction based on this little gem by Youshi Li. (This painting takes me back a couple years to this news report of a blind German psychic who reads people's bums.)


When she sits down on the chair that he once bought her for no particular reason, she always fights back tears. This happens like clockwork at eight o'clock every morning in her shoe-box writing room that overlooks a back alley.

On this particular morning, she stands just outside the door of the room. It's 7:55. The room feels half-empty. All of his things were moved out months ago.

"Asshole," she says, looking at the ergonomically correct chair. Her eyes dart back and forth between the chair and the window. There is an open dumpster two stories down.

She stretches her back which has creaked and ached all the way down to her tail bone over the past year and decides to sit down to write a story about a weeping butt-cheek who is consoled her butt-cheek neighbor.

After she finishes it, she laughs out months of pent up stress.

"Ba-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha !!!"

She never contemplates the opened or unopened state of the dumpster ever again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

"INCANTATION OVERDOSE" is a fast fiction based on this image by Justin Wood.


Out of habit, he blinks to concentrate on the exact arrangement of words as his senses start to freeze. He looks right and left. As he successfully recalls the advice passed down to him by his climbing teacher he blinks and misses the trail marker.

He wanders off into a world as white as this screen.

His entire life has been lived with seriousness of purpose and an exactness for memory, but now he knows he'll never buy another calendar in his life.

After several hours, he falls back into the snow and does a snow-angel as the white around him turns to black.

His lips move in a final harangue against the mountains hidden behind the white.

Monday, October 10, 2005

"MOTHER NATURE'S MILKY KINDNESS" is once again an extra special fast fiction based on my all time favorite artists in the whole wide world, the Clayton Brothers. I don't know how the Clay Bro's work. Do they tie their bodies together and then paint at the same time with left and right hands ? Are they so conveniently left and right handed ? Are they brothers in the religious, Afro-American or in the fraternal sense ? Are they hard at work as you read this, psychically channeling your response to all these questions and translating it into imagery on the page ? Anything is possible with the Clayton Brothers. They are talented beyond belief and so you should love, adore and purchase their work.

Just don't lend them money, whatever you do.

(Oh I'm totally joking. That's just my joky nature popping up again. Damn my joky nature as it's gotten me in hot water on more than one occasion, for example the time I was bungee-snorkeling with the Clayton brothers.. Oh Christ, I also just flat out lie a lot too. Just don't lend me money whatever you do ! )


"There they are paving that road again. Keeping that bitch Mother Nature down. Shutting her up with asphalt. She doesn't have a hope in hell !!" He stands on the edge of the small park yelling at the road crew. They labour under the noise of a truck pouring the hot asphalt and they shake their heads whenever they glance at their heckler. When he sees that they see him, he snaps his suspenders in a confrontational way.

"This park is so beautiful that the birdbath over there by the stump is filled with the tears of young boys who are touched by the beauty of nature. Tell me that happens with anything else. Just try to lie through your teeth and tell me that !! She heals hearts is what I'm saying."

He sits down on a remaining tree stump.

"Mother Nature is the only fucking medic you will ever need. My arm is all blistered and burnt because I've abused myself in drunken fits of anger over what is going on here but Mother Nature will heal me. I trust her. Birds are her emissaries and they will take care of me. I don't know why that stupid bitch still trusts us, but she does."

The next week the paving of the parking lot has been completed but Mother Nature's Great Defender is no longer anywhere to be seen. There is a gentle bump in the corner of the lot.

Boys continue to cry in the remaining birdbath as they remember the beauty of the park.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

"THE SKY IS FALLING COMICS" is a very special Thanksgiving weekend fast fiction. It's about a jive turkey by the name of Buster Bankers and his little dog Banksy.

What makes today's short-short story such a treat is that it's based on work by none other than the Pulitzer Prize-winner Art Spiegelman.

Holy Shit, I can hear you all exclaiming. Not the Art Spiegelman who "has almost single-handedly brought comic books out of the toy closet and onto the literature shelves."

Yes, that Art Speigelman.

You see dear readers the beauty of the internet is the potential for all sorts of previously unimagined collaborations. Now I know it's only Thanksgiving in Canada but I would like to ask everyone to do something for me this weekend. I would like you to think of something that you do well and create a surprise collaboration with someone out there in the world. (Please don't throw semen at passing motorists. That's not what I'm talking about.) You could for example, send a sound file of yourself singing a country and western version of Slayer's Four Seasons in the Abyss to Slayer. That's what I mean. And I mean it. It'll be funny and there'll be a thank-you involved.

Happy Thanksgiving.



"Gee, Banksy do you think people are feeling as swell as they should be feeling ?" Buster Bankers smiled at his three legged dog who barked twice in response. "No, I don't think so either. These people need to let off some steam and how !!"

Buster ducked into a back alley and took a knife out of his back pocket to cut a swatch of hair off of his dog's back. Between the palms of his hands he rubbed the hair along with a couple of butts he'd saved up after having sex with various women in a less reputable part of town. After five minutes of chanting a strange gibberish that made his dog, Banksy, yelp in fear, Buster Bankers pulled out a comic from his pocket. Using this as rolling paper he smoked the hair and butt concoction. The smoke trailed up into the blue sky a message that only the spirits understood.

When he ran into the street, comics started to fall from the sky. People smiled and laughed as they read the humorous accounts of buffoonery and mishaps. Busker Bankers laughed and danced in the street: "See Banksy, a little bit of voodoo can put a heck of a lot of happiness in people's hearts !!"

Banksy was happiest of all. He'd gotten off easy this time.