Saturday, November 19, 2005

"RELAPSED JOY" is an indubitably special fast fiction based on this painting by Geoff Keong, a Vancouver artist whose work is currently showing at the Wicked Cafe (1399 West 7th Ave). Wicked.


Waking up with a jolt from power-napped dreams of effortlessly fishing hundreds of fish off the Queen Charlottes, Josh looked for the lottery ticket which had been perched on top of his whale of a belly. With no small measure of relief, he scooped it off of the floor of his bachelor pad which was coated in an afternoon's worth of empty beer bottles. Lucky Lagers clustered around the sofa like little brown buoys holding the sofa afloat.

"Who woulda thunk it. A million dollars found in the dirt," he mumbled to himself.

"And the winning British Columbia lottery ticket numbers for the evening of November 19th, 1987 are..."

His groggy eyes focused on the television and then on the tiny numbers between his fat fingers. He was never going back to that stinking fishing boat again. He would never have to work for twenty hours straight in the cold, rainy waters off of British Columbia. He would buy the fishing boat. He would buy the waters. He would buy everything he wanted, including more lottery tickets if he so desired.

And the pairs of numbers matched in increasing improbability and excitement and Josh's brains whirred with the winning numbers until he reached the crescendo of joy that he'd been dreaming about his whole life: 13 !! He stood up on the soiled cushions of the sofa and jumped up and down like a ten year old being told the institution of school has been thrown out to make way for an eternity of weekends.

And that's when the brain aneurysm burst, leaving Josh Matinaux with an exotic form of amnesia. In the ensuing operation, therapy and recovery one thing became clear: Josh Matinaux would forever jump up and down with the belief that he'd just won the lottery. After anyone told him that - no, in fact he was mistaken - he would look crestfallen for a few minutes until his amnesia stole this fact from him, returning him to that eternal state of winning joy.

The number had actually been 30 and Josh Matinaux, in his groggy, drunken, hearing-impaired state mistook it for 13.

An honest mistake.

Friday, November 18, 2005

"THE IDIOT SAVANT SMARTENS UP" is an enormously special fast fiction based on this art within an etch-a-sketch. Merry Meredith has a show up in Vancouver of 34 etch a sketch works (or to be more artistic about it: pieces des etch de la sketch ) that runs until Dec.17th at the Basic Inquiry Life Drawing Center for the Figurative Arts.
So put away your million dollar vintage Lite Brites, Archie Comics, Etch a Sketches and Slinkies and enjoy...


At first Mr and Mrs Fendermeyer were aghast at the thought that their little bundle of joy would grow up to become a frightened bundle of nerves in a confusing world but then, after reading of the artistic brilliance that had come so effortlessly to those within his mental rank and file, they consoled themselves by imagining the financial compensation which awaited them.

And little Sam Fendermeyer grew up around a piano, cello and violin as well as paintbrushes, canvases, pencils and pastels which all collected dust, waiting for Sam to display magical flourishes of brilliance.

"What about just one lesson ?" Mrs Fendermeyer cried after Sam had passed the age of ten without any stirring of words from his tongue or artistic gifts from his fingers.

"No they're always self-taught. That's the origin of their artistic gifts," Mr Fendermeyer explained.

And after ignoring their son for ten more years, they were rewarded one afternoon with a perfect copy of their afternoon on the beach within the grey canvas of an etch-a-sketch.

"Brilliant !!"

"This will fetch us thousands of dollars !!"

Over the next couple of days and weeks and months it was discovered that etch-a-sketches were Sam's forte. And after making his 542nd etch-a-sketch, which was sold for a thousand dollars, Samuel smacked his father in the face with an etch-a-sketch which depicted his father and mother walking arm in arm behind a baby carriage full of money.

And Sam moved out.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

"LIKE A 1974 GUITAR SOLO" is an exceedingly special fast fiction based on the following sample of illustrative splendor provided by Warlessrabbit.
An awesome little illustration by Warlessrabbit and an accompanying short-short story by yours truly can be found in Vancouver in the November issue of Ion Magazine.

But for now, put away all those tools and guitars that you're using to build a set of guitar stairs that lead up to your loft's love nest and enjoy the following short-short story...


"They say there's a dead guitarist whose heart was fertilizer for this tree," he smiles romantically. A game show buzzer in his head goes off, alerting him to the mistaken content that just left his mouth.

"Oh gross," she replies, turning somewhat pale.

Too late.

"I mean that's what they say, but what do they know right ?" His fingers nervously rub the engagement ring in his pocket. "They say all sorts of things, like..."

She stares at him blankly, not having any idea why he brought her up the hill to talk about a potentially illegal burial.

"They say things like... you can't drink pee !" He flashes her a smile in anticipation of laughter.

She turns paler.

"What I'm getting at really is that this is a special spot for a special occasion. This kind of tree for example usually sprouts a penis like root straight into the earth. That's special," he smiles once more, buoyed by knowledge of Mother Nature's hidden cock.

While Eddy riffs for several more minutes on the unique nature of the guitar tree, Valerie's face turns like a color wheel through all the shades of sick. Finally she passes out.

And after she's finally found peace in unconsciousness, he slips the engagement ring onto her finger.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"LUMPY SPLATTERINGS" is a tremendously special fast fiction based on this gorgeously grotesque piece by Gregory Jacobson. What I love about this piece in particular is its unique balance of the works of Giuseppe Arcimboldo - who made faces out of fruits and flowers in the 1600's - with a contemporary distaste for macaroni.
So put your Bibles away for a couple minutes and enjoy...


"Oh my eyes, they are for Jesus, oh my eyes they are for Jesus, oh my eyes they are for Jesus, no looking back, no looking back," Lucy skips and sings with a basket of Bibles which she tosses one by one onto the doorsteps of sinners. "Extra, extra the good news is here !!" she shouts after a successfully tossed Bible. If the Bible makes a splashy land in a dog bowl or smashes a window, she doesn't make a holy peep.

But between houses she sings to her heart's and soul's content: "Oh my nostrils, they are for Jesus, oh my nostrils they are for Jesus, oh my nostrils they are for Jesus, no sniffing back, no sniffing back," she hollers to the heavens.

"Hey Bible thumper !! Keep that religious claptrap to yourself or I'll show you a real thumping," Cindy Oppenheimer, Lucy's least favorite friend from school, shouts out in derision as specks of macaroni flick out from her mouth. She loves to eat macaroni in the lucid light of the sunset because the yellow comes alive and keeps her company in her miserable isolation. Lucy is the only girl at school that deigns to speak to the big, fat, ugly and stupid Cindy Oppenheimer.

"Hello friend how are you ?" Lucy squeaks in the intonation of youth; her words rise and fall like a roller-coaster of giddy fun. She calls everyone outside of church friend. At church she calls everyone brother or sister. In her sleep she calls everyone Lucy. "Would you like me to teach you the lyrics of my song ?" she smiles evangelically. "Oh my brains they are for Jesus, oh my brains they are for Jesus -"

"Shut up or I'll rearrange your face. You're singing is crappy," Cindy Oppenheimer shouts and for the first time in her life Jesus, up in his heavens, totally agrees with her. And so it was that at that moment Jesus smote Lucy with a blow from the heavens that literally rearranged her face.

Cindy, witnessing the mysteriously sudden carnage right in front of her, screamed, dropped her macaroni and ran off in no particular direction.

And to add insult to injury - or perhaps in this case injury to insult- Jesus framed the poor little girl for the murder.

Oh my keys on my keyboard, they are for Jesus, Oh my keys on my keyboard, they are for Jesus, oh my keys on my keyboard, they are for Jesus, no deleting words, no deleting words.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"THE DREAM THAT ERODES YOUR VISION" is an enticingly special fast fiction based on this painting by Tim Biskup whose scintillating work can be seen on the front and back covers of the latest Blab!, a magazine which the Los Angles Reader has dubbed: "the New Yorker for Mutants."
So set aside for a minute all those beakers of toxic waste that you're alphabetizing based on mutating side-effects and enjoy...


"So, why did you lose your last job ?" he asks with no real interest. A throw-away line which proves to the world that he is not completely ignorant of what goes on during job interviews. He stares at Michael with half-dead, buggy eyes that could be popped out of their respective sockets and placed on the table while he groped his way to the the shitter. Yes, he has more important things to be doing than this interview.

They sit in a grimy office consisting of one desk, one clock whose arms hold up five minutes to one, one tiny window and one framed photo of a meat factory. They are at the packing plant which receives various cuts that are processed into sausage, patties or ground beef. The factory in the photo is where the actual slaughter takes place and where friends of friends or enemies of enemies get jobs by mentioning that they know that asshole Bill or Joe or Mike or Tom.

"Well you know, I just didn't quite ummm..." Michael pauses, interlacing his fingers into a concerted fist of prayer.

Rick Wheeler looks up at the clock.

"My life's dream is to build a ship. An actual galleon straight out of the 1600's," Michael says in a burst of contained excitement. "Every penny that I make goes into making that dream come to life. Outside of work, I spend every waking hour researching and planning for what will be its meticulous construction. Some people have a hard time with that."

"Alright, well okay. You start bright and early six o'clock Monday morning then," Rick Wheeler says not wanting to waste anymore time. And after he stands up his head is momentarily smack dab in the center of the photo of the slaughter house. This fits with the fantasy of so many of his employees who image his body hanging on metal hooks next to cows in that plant. But today Michael's impression of his boss is simply that of an impatient man in a hurry and as Rick Wheeler leaves, he is replaced by his secretary, newly refreshed from her lunch break.

"Have you ever sailed ?" Michael asks her.

"No." She smiles her version of a smile which she can offer out for as long as the taste of her lunch remains in the corners of her mouth. Usually until around 2:00.

"Well its wonderful if you're able to go to sea on something you've built yourself. It's a form of walking on water. Very special feeling."

She nods.

"I'm building a ship which will be so radiantly spectacular that it will be camouflaged against the sun-light sparked waters around it." And Michael proceeds to explain in lustrous detail the mast, sails and size of his boat which will leave an imprint on her eyes. She will blink and blink but that dazzling ship will remain for several minutes. Like staring at the sun.

And in three weeks the dazzlingly described image of Michael's galleon will momentarily blind one of his co-workers who won't see the hands of Rick Wheeler in the main belt of the ground beef grinder and Michael will once again be in search of a new job.

Monday, November 14, 2005

"THAT LITTLE GERM IS PEEING IN MY MOUTH AGAIN" is an incalculably special fast fiction based on this amazingly fun piece by David Chung whose site offers plenty of good times for anyone with an appreciation of art and a sense of humour.
So take a break from your hobby of picking the bristles out of old tooth brushes and enjoy...


"When I get a cold, I have this horrible feeling that there's this little germ in my body fucking with my immune system," Kelly explained to her third best friend, Alicia. They sat at the back of the bus skulking in their black hoodies.

"Yuck," Alicia said slowly through a grimace that masked her hitherto mildly attractive face.

"Yeah, it's totally sick, but sometimes, I swear, it's like this little bastard is just trying to mess with my head by fucking shit up inside of me."

"Weird," her friend replied, changing her unattractive grimace into an even more horribly misshapen face.

"Actually, there is a creature in your mouth," a man said with authority while lowering an outspread newspaper which he had been hiding behind for the past three months. In a flash, Kelly remembered that she had observed from time to time a figure behind a strangely outdated paper, but each time she had simply assigned the sightings to either her overactive imagination or an overabundance of drugs. But of course, the mosh pit at Lollapalooza !! She clearly recalled a man reading a newspaper in the mosh pit at the rock festival.

He sat down on the seat in front of them, but even from a seated position he towered over them.

"I'm part of a special research team that has been working on synthesizing highly intelligent germs which are for all intents and purposes sentient creatures," he explained carefully, pausing after every other polysyllabic word. "And I regret to say that one of those creatures escaped and we've tracked it to you. Chances are the mischievous little bugger is probably pissing in the back of your throat right now."

While Alicia's deformation of a face erupted into vomit, Kelly took the news far more gracefully: "I knew something was up."

And after Alicia got off at her stop, she never wanted to have anything to do with Kelly ever again even though Kelly owed her a hundred dollars for Lollapalooza concert tickets.

And Alicia went on to have an uneventful life, not knowing or wanting to know what happened to her erstwhile friend.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

"REMINISCING THE CORONATION OF THE MONKEY PRINCE" is a surpassingly special fast fiction based on work by Klaus Haapaniemi, an artist/designer from London whose sumptuous work is grounded in the play between vivid colors, interesting shapes and unique characters.
So put your family of pet monkeys - whom you've named after the family members of the Brady Bunch - to bed and enjoy...


While every corner of his kingdom is crumbling like a cookie, Santyremi, the Monkey King, does nothing but sit on his throne and watch his jester juggle bananas. Occasionally, he picks a mite from his hairy scalp and chomps down on it.

"Again, again !!" he claps laboredly and laughs in a weeze which echoes in the vastness of his throne room. Members of the court impatiently sit in attendance waiting for their freedom. They have endured with forced smiles an hour of these puerile proceedings but in their palpitating hearts they are tallying their possessions, estates and servants and the wisdom of keeping them or using them in the upcoming troubles. They calculate their exit strategies on their long, nimble toes.

While news of a peasant uprising in the very heart of the kingdom had come that morning, the King has done nothing but immerse himself in asinine distractions.

"Make for us once again your reenactment of my coronation with bananas, hankies and the court poodle !!" Santyremi laughs, casting his mind back like a shadow at twilight, stretching out to an unexpected distance. Only the shock of extreme bedlam has the power to stir up emotions in his mostly motionless body and mind. He knows that in some dark corner of his mind, lays an abandoned image of that illustrious day and that is what he needs to recover the kingdom. It must sparkle somewhere in that darkness; a kingly feeling rooted in a sovereign start.

A series of crashes and cries from outside the throne room's door unsettles the members of the court who abandon their seats but the king is still lost in his search for one afternoon of warmth on a pond coated in peacock colours.

But as the doors burst open under the force of a hundred angry paws the kingdom crumbles into no more.