prompt: ‘harvest time’
they’re restless in their pens, they can mark the passing of seasons, the gradual cooling of the nights, more temperate days, and they know what’s coming.
we feed them, nurture them, fatten them, and when they’re at their optimum age and weight… it’s slaughtering time.
hang them in the smokehouse, preserve them for the long winter to come. folks get hungry ’round these parts, no matter what the weather does.
i don’t even hear their mouth noises as speech anymore. i mean, if i make the attempt, i can understand them with near-perfect clarity… we do speak the same language, just different dialects, but it’s easier for everyone if i don’t.
oh yeah, easier for them as well. if i talk to them like people, they believe there’s hope. cruel, all things considered…
better i don’t.
so it’s not language… they’re not people, they’re cattle.
they’re just cattle.
it’s easier if they’re just cattle.
prompt: “honoring our dead”
he wasn’t worth a bucket of piss. honest-to-God, my uncle Calvin was a waste of flesh, a waste of everything. i can remember, growing up, when times were hard for my family, my mother, his sister, would grit her teeth and growl.
“i will not call him for a loan. i will not…”
she said she’d tried once, when i was just a baby.
that’s all she’d say about it.
nobody in town liked him either. he’d made his money in rental properties, letting someone else be the public face of the business. and he was quick to evict. we joked he kept a crew of leg-breakers on speed dial to facilitate the eviction process. it wasn’t really a joke.
and he was frugal, to the point of being a cheap bastard. we never visited him, mom’s choice again, but i passed by his house almost every day of my life, and it was small, shabby, overgrown yard, high wrought-iron fence. i couldn’t even see in the windows, not just because of heavy curtains, but the thick layer of dirt on them as well. it looked to be an inch-thick from the street.
the will gets read this afternoon. i expect he left his money to indigent hamsters, or the sour-old-men of america, or somesuch.
of course, i could be wrong.
“my uncle Calvin, beloved by all, was a pillar of the community, and a true philanthropist. i, and my family, cherished him in life, and will miss him now he has passed.”
prompt: “attack of the evil _______”
three hundred feet tall… a roar like a thousand jet engines… feet the size of Volkswagons… claws like scythes… teeth like swords…
“yeah, yeah, i get it. so how do i kill it?”
no, no, you don’t understand the worst of it…
“don’t know, don’t care. it has to have a weak spot. what is it?”
really, you must let me explain…
“fine, explain already!”
it’s only vulnerable spot, the only place you can damage the Marlovik, the only place…
“okay, ass shot. easy!”
no. it… defecates… lava…
lava… molten rock… constantly…
“what the actual fuck? where’d this… Marlovik… come from? who makes a creature like this?”
Ampature, the Volcano God, of course.
“Volcano God? perfect. so we’ve got to hit it up the… lava tube… while the lava’s flowing. all the time? even when it sleeps?”
Marlovik doesn’t sleep.
“great. just great. okay, where do we find an invulnerability spell? anyone have a line on an indestructible spear-like weapon?
“i wonder if we could find a plug of some kind… maybe it would explode, or something…”
prompt: “time to bring out the chainsaw”
“the Holy Chainsaw of Cletus? you want me to attack the Marlovik with a chainsaw? i’ll have to be right up there. there’s no Holy Missile of SAC, or Holy Nuke of Manhattan?”
no, i’m sorry, but you’re being silly, and disrespectful. the Holy Chainsaw of Cletus is your only hope.
“so, what about protection? any luck on an invulnerability spell?”
not as such…
“what’s that mean?”
there is something… well, two somethings…
the Teflon Suit of Reagan.
“okay, that’ll do it?”
oh, it will protect you from the lava, but not the ambient heat.
“so, the lava won’t burn me, it’ll just cook me?”
that’s why you’ll have the Ice Cubes of Nicholson in your mouth. they’ll make you cool, no matter what.
“are you sure that’s ‘cool’ as in lower temperature? or is it ‘cool’ as in the most stylish roasting corpse anyone’s ever seen?”
“so, Holy Chainsaw of Cletus, Teflon Suit of Reagan, and Ice Cubes of Nicholson… remind me why i’m doing this again?”
wealth beyond imagining, fame beyond reckoning, non-stop offers of a sexual nature…
“RIGHT! okay, let’s get me dressed! i’ve got a Marlovik to kill!”
prompt: haiku, using the word ‘boo’
down darkened stairway
only a candle… a breeze…
my shriek at the “BOO!”
boos per minute. great!
a horror film’s quality
measured at long last.
Friday the 13th
drinking game. a shot of booze
per boo on the screen.
why, yes, i was using left-over Halloween prompts. why do you ask?
listening to: “No Woman No Cry” – Bob Marley and the Wailers
mood: relatively mellow