Saturday, October 22, 2005

"AUTOMATIC LIAR / LE MENTEUR AUTOMATIQUE" is a ridiculously special fast fiction based on this hilariously surreal line-drawing by Canada's very own Peter Thompson. If you like what you see, you should get your mitts on THE HOBBIT, a collaboration between Peter Thompson and Marc Bell consisting of ephemerally drawn fonts and faces.
So lean back on the ever reliable shoulder of your siamese twin brother, read to him the following, ask him what the French words in the following story mean and enjoy...


"You're a gossip."

"I'm a conduit of truth. I just don't like to hoard knowledge." He drunkenly smiles and takes a sip from his one foot tall tikki mug. It's full of Maudite, an 8% beer from Quebec. The official fuel of party animals all across Canada. Cheers.

She takes a sip from her Strong-bow.

"I met this guy the other night who was a liar, though."

"A fucking liar," she corrects and pokes him in the chest with the top of her bottle.

"Un sal menteur !!" he rejoins and raises his mug for a toast. "A sa sal sante !!"

Shouts break out from those at the party who know French and other glasses are raised.

"This fucking liar told me that he was a siamese twin who was separated at birth from his mentally handicapped brother who as a teen tried to impregnate golf clubs. Weird dirty liar kind of stuff. This sal menteur was also telling me about how his brother was only mentally retarded part time because he would also channel spirits which made him look sort of normal for an hour or two. And then this dirty liar told me he had grown up to become a surgeon who specialized in separating siamese twins. Lying fucking liar."

"What a liar," she shouts.

"And he wanted me to buy him beers ! A surgeon ! And he needs me to buy him beers ?" He quiets down to whisper his name.

"You're a gossip," she shouts.

"I'm a conduit of truth !"

And his lie is complete.

Friday, October 21, 2005

"FALSEHOODS INSTILLED WITH LOVE INTO HIS CHILDREN" is a very special Friday fast fiction based on artwork by Pamela Henderson whose work is something you will want to tattoo on some portion of your body.

Whilst getting that tattoo chances are you'll need something to soothe the pain which is why I'd like to recommend the new Boards of Canada.
So sit back in that tattooist's chair, close your eyes, listen carefully as the burly assistant at the tattoo parlor reads to you the following and enjoy...


"Oh put that away, I'll get this."

Sam dips his hand into his jean jacket pocket and comes up with a cupped palm of change. Pennies, dimes and nickels are funneled by his hand into the bus ticket machine.

Stacey can't believe her eyes.

The bus-driver looks deeply into his rear-view mirror.

After a minute of the tintinnabulation of change, a transfer is popped out by the machine and Sam starts to work on paying for Stacey's fare.

"Oh let me get that," she says reaching for her wallet, wanting to speed things up.

"No, no. I insist."

Half way to the total, the change starts to jam the machine and the driver presses the sympathy button, allowing a transfer to pop out so that everyone can get on with their lives.

"I do all that for my children, you know," he says as they stagger to the back of the moving bus. He thinks she's cute and hopes to impress her; he brushed his teeth five times that morning.

"Oh how so ?" she is intrigued by the depths of his quirkiness. For her this is more of an abnormal psychology field trip than a date.

"Well some day I'm gonna have a kid and I'm gonna tell him or her that the bus runs on change. The change is smelted down in a fiery heating system within the bus and turned into kinetic energy."

She looks at him.

"It seems to me to be a more beautiful way of seeing things. I just want to get into the habit now."

"Why fire ?"

"Well, I want to stick with that theme. I'm also going to tell him or her that we come from an island of fire where there's nothing but marshmallow beneath the surface. I'll tell him or her that's where we came from and that our ancestors did nothing but mine the marshmallow and then crisp it up in the flames of the fire that surrounded our island."

She listens and is amazed at how this seems to fit in with the fact that Sam was adopted and has no real knowledge of his origins. He wants to create a mythology.

She is equally amazed at how fresh his breathe smells.

Someday she will become an award-winning psychologist. Her breakthrough research will focus on her husband who tells their children strange tales night after night.

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.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"BANANA AND STRAWBERRY STAB" is a very special fast fiction based on some amazingly creepy work by Ken Kagami. You might recognize this Pac-Man collision of bonus fruit and one of the four ghosts that chased Pac-Man around from Deerhoof's Milk Man.

Have I completely lost you ?

Well get with it man !! 1) Play a game of Pac-Man, 2) Listen to some Deerhoof (who are playing in Vancouver next Thursday !) and 3) wince with one eye shut at the incredibly weird work of Ken Kagami.

I ask very little of you.

Please do this !!
But before you run off to do all this sit back in your cushy living room sofa, read the following short-short story which has travelled from your computer through your mini-DVD projector and onto your wall and enjoy...


In the thick of the forest, Danny and Paul march over branches and twigs which snap like a chorus of fingers. Small patches of sky are suspended high above on the tops of Cedar, Hemlock and Douglas Fir trees. In between the above and the below are ghost-patches of chilly air which send shivers through the boys.

"It's just around that stump," Paul says, huffing and puffing.

"That's what you said four stumps ago !!" Danny whines. "I want to go back. I'm cold."

Paul shoots him a glare: "You can't go back until you've seen them. You can even have one. I don't need all those titty magazines. What am I gonna do with a hundred titty magazines ? If you want to stay warm you can put one down your pants."

The tiny cogs of Danny's ratiocination machine slowly spin around and around: "Okay."

And sure enough after several more minutes of hoofing it, they find something spectacular. Something unexpected.

"Wow. Holy Shit ! Ah wow !!" Danny's eyes grow wide to take in the sight of a Pac-Man arcade game in the middle of the forest. There is a three foot pile of quarters surrounding the base of the video game. Danny rushes in where his devilish friend fears to tread.

At the touch of the controls, Danny shakes and spits out in pain. His body slowly turns a silvery tone as his skin starts to flake off in quarter sized chunks until he is nothing but a final splash of change falling to the forest floor.

Paul watches the familiar transformation.

"Thank you. You have done well. You can play for a day but then you have to leave," comes a voice from somewhere in the forest. Paul walks ahead to use the quarters to play again and again and again with an endless supply of quarters to guarantee that he will never die.

A strange figure in the distance dances a mirrored choreography through the trees of one of the ghosts from the game, as Paul plays with abandon.

Someday Paul will die.



Tuesday, October 18, 2005

"YOAV AND HIS GHOST DO THEIR COMEDY ROUTINE EVERY NIGHT FOR THE PLEASURE OF NO ONE" is an exceptionally special fast fiction based on artwork by Seth Drenner.
So tighten that scarf around your neck, avoid the coughs of those on the bus around you, focus on these words on your internet connected cell phone and enjoy...


"You just don't understand," Yoav says to the ghost that has been haunting his family's house on the lower east side of Manhattan for decades.

"I understand."

"No, you don't understand."

"Right. I understand that I don't understand."

"Getting smart with me now are ya ?"

"I don't understand."

"That's right you don't understand."

"That I understand."

"Argghhhhh !!"

And so Yoav throws up his arms in the air, slams his bedroom door shut and goes to bed.

The ghost stands in the hallway to the applause of nobody.

Monday, October 17, 2005

"THE NOZZELMAN" is a very special fast fiction based on the work of Kevin Speck who not only has the same first name and the same initials as me but also comes from a place called Surrey. Wild, wild stuff. Nobody ever told me the world would get this crazy.
So prop your laptop up on the dashboard, slide back in the leather seats of your Mercedes and enjoy...


Whenever he dips the nozzle into his gas tank, he arches his back and luxuriates in the stretch. Along with moments in front of urinals, this is his time to relax. To steal a couple seconds for himself from a life of work, work, work.

He never notices that groans sometimes escape his throat and that the young men working at the gas-station watch and wait to laugh at the reactions of those around him.

They have given him a nickname.

On this particular day a woman finds herself intrigued at what she sees as his open door policy on his inner drives.

After the trigger of the nozzle clicks open, he hangs it up and his cell rings. He's back to work.

For a couple minutes, in the mind of a stranger, he is the freest man in the world.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

"STARDUST IN THE MUSTACHE" is just about the most special fast fiction I've ever written. It's based on this delightful little fable of an image by the very talented Jeana Sohn. I've made it as large as humanly possible for you to enjoy right here so you can get swept up in the narrative qualities:
So lean back against that tree trunk which will scratch you in all the right places, prop your laptop up on your knees and enjoy...


"Do you wish to leave this accursed land or not ?" Stranya shouts and the two sides of his mustache flap lamely like the wings of an injured bird. Speckles of stardust are shaken free from deep within the roots of his mustache.

Frandolisa cannot help but giggle.

"Am I never to be taken seriously ?" he shouts in a louder tone of voice.

"Yes, your Mr Royal Highness. I vow that I shall forever take you seriously. Even if you were to fart and fall in a pigsty, I would salute your slop coated inner dignity."

And Frandolisa bursts out laughing.

At the sight of this Stranya turns red with rage. "Where are the stars disappearing to ? How is it that I place them securely in the trunk of our tree and yet when I return they are no longer there ?"

"Perhaps the stars are falling within the fissures of the tree, slipping back along the roots into the ground where they came from. It's been known to happen." She blinks away all playful fictions, like a child waking up from a dream.

He considers her theory and contemplates a new hiding place. If he can save up a sufficient number of stars, he can trade them in for drooples which will secure them passage on a train to a better land.

Deep in thought, he walks away kicking the ground in hopes of turning up a star or two which will be stored in his mustache.

She cannot understand how he wants to leave their land which is littered with stars and canopied with the patterns of their ancestors.

She is confident that his plans will always be subverted by her ancient alliance with the stars.