Category Archives: Session XX


My resolution for next year is to not kill myself. It’s not next year yet, though. The metal hitting my teeth is cold and it hurts. I have really sensitive teeth and I can’t even enjoy ice cream without it being extremely painful. But, hey, I’ve got to tough it out if I’m going to shoot myself in the head. I don’t think it’s angled right, though. With my luck, I’ll just shoot out my spine and have to spend 2011 in a wheelchair. I take it out of my mouth and put it to my temple. Funny how this little device can just shoot out metal fast enough to travel straight through my brain. Well, not funny ha ha, but you know… the ball is dropping. 10, 9, 8… should I do it? I mean, the afterlife might not be any better. Or maybe it would just be nothing, emptiness. I would like that. 7, 6, 5… I hate Ryan Seacrest. He’s such a douchebag. No, focus. You need to kill yourself. Man up. Man up! 3, 2, click. Ah, forgot the safety. Well, maybe in 2012 the world will end. I’d actually like to see that after all.


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Office Party

“It was terrific. Just… y’know… a real great year.”

Burt quaffed his peppermint drink, swishing it a little in his mouth before leaning over to me. His breath smelled like if sugarplum fairies used his mouth to vomit into. “Hey Burt.” I don’t smile. Smiling encourages them.

“Monica… you are a fantastic co-worker. Just… real great.”

“Yeah, Burt. You said that.” I take a step back.

“The way you… answer phones…” he hiccups and leans forward a little more. “Your hair smells nice, Monica.”

“John! Can you go help Burt out over here!”

John is across the room, handing out party favors: those stupid sparkly hats and some old glasses from 2001 where he taped another 1 to them so they say “20011.”


…and noisemakers.

“Whoa people!” John laughs. “Wait until the new year.”

John!” I elbow Burt away but he leans in again.

“Oh, loosen up, Monnie. He’s just having fun.”

“He’s loose enough for the both of us, John.” I step out of the way and Burt falls to the ground.

“Oops!” Burt rolls around, unbuttoning his shirt. “It’s hot in here. Hot. Hot. Tuh. Tuh.”


John looks over and sets down his drink. “Oh, burt! Maybe you’re having too much fun.”

I check the clock and it’s still only eleven o’clock. Maybe I can fake a sickness or my own death or something.

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A Firm Warning

“Settle your bloodlust, child, or I will settle it for you.”

He was mumbling because he had his teeth wrapped around my throat. I tried to steady my breathing. Each time I inhaled, his teeth would bury into the tender flesh of my neck. It was embarrassing, even if he was my father. I hadn’t grown my mane yet or else all he would have probably caught was a mouthful of hair.

“I’m okay. I’m fine,” I counter through gritted fangs.

“If you attack your sister again, I will have no problem with tearing your throat out. Understood?”

I had this feeling like Dad wanted to kill me. Mom said he killed his kids before when they were first mating, but he was old and calmer now. She goes off on her own to hunt a lot while Dad is sleeping. I’m afraid he will kill me someday, but Mom says I’m too much like him and he’s too vain to kill me.

“I won’t do it again. I promise.”

“Your promises mean nothing. Tell me who is in control of your life right now.”


“Explain.” I winced as his teeth dug in on the “ex” part of the word.

“You have your teeth around my throat,” I growl.

“What else?”

“I don’t know.”

“What else!”

I pause, not knowing what to say.


“I let you eat what the pride kills.”

I want to remind him that it’s only the women that kill anything and all he does is lay around… but I value my neck.

“Fine. You’re the boss. You have my life in your jaws.”

He eases his teeth from my throat.

“Remember that.”

I padded away, head down. One day, when I’m grown up, I’ll take him apart. Then we’ll see who’s better.

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Interlude to a New World

Take this cat, flip it upside-down. Its entire world reversed, yet it can quickly regain its composure. It returns to the world it once knew. The cat is reactionary, even adaptable in one sense. Not so with dogs, who would just fall and take grevious pain from the change in perspective. It’s a brilliant survival mechanism to have that concentrated will to keep things always the way they presently are. The truth is, cats detest change, but they can only resist it to a point. Ever thrown a cat at the ceiling? There’s a point where even a cat can become so disoriented that its survival instincts simply shut down. It doesn’t know which way up or down is anymore and it crash–wham!–right on its back.

A sloth is a creature that can exist its whole life upside down. It exists in an entirely different plane than cats or dogs. Even so, a sloth probably has less perspective than a cat. It was born upside-down; that’s the only world it knows. For a sloth, being turned rightside up would be a devastating change. Even though they live in a seemingly progressive, avant garde position, they’re more conservative than cats.

What I want you to do, instead, is find a way to compartmentalize each perspective. Bats, for instance, use the upside-down world for sleeping and the right-side up world for hunting. Some lizards and insects can traverse all planes but they must stick to the safety of a wall. Monkeys are strongly rooted in the commonly accepted realm of the rightside-up, but they have no qualms in using the upside-down for their advantage.

This is what I want you to be: versatile. Otherwise, you won’t survive this new world ahead of us.

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The worst thing I ever did was give my voices names. Fontaine was a complete ass. I never listened to him. All he did was make rude comments toward women and I couldn’t tolerate that. Gertrude didn’t like him either. They argued constantly. Theodore was very influential. He whispered into my ear that everything was fine, that there was nothing to worry about. But it was Daniel that talked me out of complacency. He screamed at me. Everything was something to worry about. Worry about your job, about your electric bill, about every sharp thing in the kitchen. Daniel kept me alive, I think, but he also kept me from sleeping. It was Helen I turned to when I felt the most alone. How can I feel alone, you say, when I’m surrounded by voices? Have you ever felt alone in a crowd? There. Well, you have it. But Helen… she is different. I think I’m in love with her.

Helen is the beauty that would have launched a thousand ships, only she is locked within my head. She is the reasonable voice. When I am rambling, she speaks slow, when I am self-destructive, she yells me into reason. Helen is the only entity, real or otherwise, that is holding me together.

I think I’ve become too attached, though. I am sad when the voices are gone. I want them back. Especially Helen, but not only her. I can’t live without any of these voices. They are a strong part of me. I am a part of them. Sometimes, when I drift off to sleep, I may be Daniel or Getrude, or Theodore or Fontaine. Or Helen. I wish I was Helen. Yes, I want that strong kind of woman. When I see someone like that in the real world, I want to be with her, if only to get closer to being Helen myself.


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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XX

Worst Mistake

“Let’s just get some fucking coffee.”

Aiko sighs, as if to say, “Yes, let’s go but I still hate you.” Yeah, well I hate you too, bitch.

The Starbucks iss too crowded. “Man, I hate lines.”

“Well, you wanted to go here.”

“Yeah, I really regret doing this.”


“Yeah. Should have never met up with you,” I mumbled.



“No, I discretely heard you say…” Distinctively. Get it right. “What?”

“What do you mean ‘what’?”

“It looked like you were about to say something. You get that look on your face.”

“No. I wasn’t going to say anything.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Whatever!” I sigh, throwing my hands into the air.

“Don’t do that. Don’t you do that!”

Someone pokes me in the back. “Hey! You’re next in line. They’ve been calling for you.”

I take a deep breath. “Oh. Sorry.” Everyone around is looking at us. Let’s just get this over with.

Aiko nudges me out of the way. “Grande Chai tea with soy, no water. Five pumps. He’s paying.”

Shit. “Um, I’ll have a… pumkin latte. The cold version.”

“Iced pumpkin latte?”

“…yeah.” I hand her the card.


“I’ll take the small.”


“Yeah, the small one. Tall.”

I hold out my card. “Uh, debit.”

“Here or to go?”

“Here. Or, to go.”

She glares at me and changes something on the register. “Name?”

“Huh?” I’m waiting for her to take the card.

“Your name?” She could probably look at the card and get my name. “It’s Kouta. What’s your name?”


“Pretty name. I feel like we go through the same conversation every time, Tara.” I expect Aiko to get jealous but she’s hitting on gray-heard guy in a suit.

Tara flashes me a fake smile. “Your coffee will be ready in a minute. Next please!”

I bring back the drinks. Tara managed to procure the old guy’s table and slip him her number. She thinks she’s sly, like a little female ninja and shit. She has money, sure, but she ain’t secretive.

“Here,” I throw the drink to her side. “So, when can I pick up my shit from your dad’s? It’s kind of embarrassing that it’s there at all.”

“I’ll have my people drop your stuff off. Just give me your address.”

I take a sip. It scalds my tongue. I try to swallow it fast, which was just as bad an idea for my throat. “You can understand if I’d rather you not know where I live.”

“Hmph. Well, good luck getting your stuff back.”

I run my hand through my hair. “Just set a place and time. That’s all.”

She sits back, probably thinking about how best to take my balls away from me.

“Well… maybe—”

A shuriken chops into the table. Ninjas.

“You sent your ninjas?!”

“No, I—”

No time to talk. The ninjas leap out from the ceiling, one from the  back, where they’d been lurking. Only three. Good. I can probably take three.

The first leaps down, chops the table in half. No time to grab anything with my hands. I kick the chair into his face and he chops that in half. I put my foot on the sword as it is down and uppercut his jaw. Ninja are trained not to pass out, so I know it will take more than that. Still, I have to duck under the sword swishing toward my ears and let this first one go. I kick back but miss. These guys aren’t going to let me finish the fight fast.

#2 swings again and I turn to the side, jump above it, and duck again. I roll over the table half to the back table. Tara is frozen in fear, so I push her to the back room. “Move!”

I am an eel, twisting around their blades. The coffee machine goes flying out, as does the register. They chop out with their swords to move through, as expected. I take my knives out of my pocket and throw them out. It hits one in the neck, but the other dodges. #3 throws his own projectile, a shuriken aimed at the back of my head. I duck and back flip over the counter. A sweep kick which he jumps over and points his sword down to impale me upon. I do a kangaroo kick from the ground and catch him in the stomach. Still, he tries to impale me but I catch it in my palms. #1 flies over the counter, also aiming to impale me. I twist and slide my head out of the way, spinning to tear the katana out of the #3’s hands. I smack #1 with the hilt, using the change in momentum to slid the hilt up into my own hands. I stab behind me to catch #3 in the stomach, removing the sword to catch #1’s next strike. I backpedal, backpedal, flip back over the couch, smashing through the front window. The ninja flips after me to catch his sword on my head. I block upward and he plants his foot into my chest. I think this cracks a rib, but I can’t stop to cry about it. I spin the sword above my head as a distraction to give a kick of my own. He steps back and throws a shuriken. I move slightly so it catches my arm and not in any vital areas. I pull it out and toss it aside.

“Hyaa!” I cry, tearing the katana down, only to cut air. My wounds have made me slow. The ninja flips back and pulls his sword back for a killing blow. I raise my arm to block, though I know a stab like this will mortally wound me if I don’t disarm perfectly. To my surprise, a body rises up behind the ninja. He looks back to meet the new challenger, but too late. A knife slides aptly into his neck and out again, creating a fountain of blood, splattering across an outdoor table.

“Father!” she cries. “Come out!”

A dark-haired man walks out, coffee cup in hand. “What’s wrong, Aiko. I thought I was doing you a favor? We both want to be rid of Kouta.”


“I thought you hated this man. Why would you kill one of my men, child?”

“I… I don’t… I still…”

“Hmph. You still love him.” He looks down on her in disgust as she kneels to the ground and cries.

I breathe heavily, now fully feeling the cracked rib and shuriken wound. “Say what?” I really don’t need this right now.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XX

Grendel Christmas

Twas the night before Solstice, when all through the hall

Not a person was stirring, except for the thralls.

The axes were hung by the chimney with care

In hopes that Grendel soon would be there.

The vikings were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of murder danced in their heads.

And Frigga in her hjalmr, and I in my hatt,

Had just settled our bloodlust for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the armaments there arose such a crash,

I sprang from the bed to see Brogin turned to ash.

Away to my claymore I flew into a rage,

Tore straight for the battle and onto the stage.

The moon on the breast of the hoarfrost below

Illuminated the blood on the new-fallen snow

When, what to my murderous eyes should appear,

But towering jaws and a man flailing in fear.

With a spine-splitting crack, the man’s body fell

I knew in a moment it must be Grendel.

More savage than bjornkin his talons they rent,

And he growled, and he rampaged, and their bodies he bent!

“Now Agni! now, Alrek! now, Olaf and Gunnbjorn!

On, Ottar! On, Egil! on, on Brunin and Hallbjorn!

To the top of its skull! To the front of the hall!

Now hack away! Hack away! Hack away all!”

As woodland creatures before the great fire burn,

When they follow their wyrd, and are pierced by the thorn.

So did Grendel tear apart the brave fighters,

With a mouth reeking of death, the one called the Blighter.


And then, in a crippling, I heard a great yawn

The growling and scratching that came with the dawn.

As I averted my eyes, and was saying a prayer,

Down the hall stomped Beowulf the serpent-slayer.


He was dressed all in hides, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tattered with war wounds and soot.

Then he stripped the clothing right off his back,

And he looked at the monster while cracking his neck.


His eyes-filled with madness! His jaw lines drawn tight!

His clenched hands were bleeding, anticipating the fight!

Drool came from his mouth and he wiped it away,

And the stubble on his chin stood right at end.


In Grendel’s own teeth, the stump of a man,

And billowing around it was the fog of the land.

He swallowed the limb right into his belly,

It cackled with laughter, my legs turned to jelly!


Beowulf’s spirit was not lessened, a terror as well,

And he stood and he laughed at this creature from Hel!

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.


He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And took Grendel’s arm and it tore with a jerk.

And twisting in pain, the beast howled in alarm.

It escaped from the battle, but left its own arm!


Beowulf raised up the limb, jumped on our table,

And growled with a bloodlust more than the monster was able.

But I heard him exclaim and it was quite a sight,

“Who’s next, all you dogs? Who wants to fight!”


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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XX