Thursday, August 31, 2006

Westward the Trail of Broken Dreams

Dreams tended to shatter in the Savage American West. That's just the way things went down. It was as if the prairie was an anvil and the sky, a smithy's hammer.

Cholera, renegades, jackknifed covered wagons--there were just so many ways to die.

One spring Jack and Emily Billingsly traveled from Boston, dreaming of freedom and crops and land. Then one night the badgers came and Jack thought he could threaten them away.
"Hey badgers!" Jack screamed, brandishing an axe handle. "Stop chewing on my young bride or else."

Turned out "or else" was Jack's brutal death and just like that, the badgers' meal doubled.

But at the claws of badgers wasn't the only way to die. Heavens no. Sometimes the influenza came ‘round, and giggling Indians recommended rattlesnake venom as a way to reduce the fever.

Never trust a giggling Indian. As General Custer was fond of saying.

But then later Custer's ghost had its misguided revenge on the people of the nations. Smallpox broke their hearts. Whiskey broke their dreams.

Lonely Mountain Men named all the trees for hundreds of miles in every direction. They got one chance, maybe two at most, to find love over the course of their entire tangle-bearded lives. But every chance was ruined by body odor and a poor first impression.

Yes, all trails led west. But the signs along those trails were dreams--and all the posts were broken.

Oh, and I haven't even told you about the monsters yet.

Here's the legible text from a scrap from a bloodstained journal, found next to the ashes of an ancient campfire on edge of a western ravine. It reads:
"…and so then it’s likely that I love you, and probably always have. But there are monsters in the night here. And I am so afraid.”

Broken hearts and savagery. It’s a wonder we reached the Pacific at all. It’s a wonder the west was won.

And I’m Latigo Flint. And I still hear monsters in the night.

(This, by the way, is a very moving article. It's affecting. It's stirring. It's somber and it's savage. I'm pretty sure the soundtrack is a single violin. But I could be wrong--it might be a bugle and the sound of wind in the trees. Provided, of course, that the bugle is played with appropriate strains of sorrow.)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Gun Named Thornbrow Ruinface

In the Squinty-Eyed American West, it wasn't absolutely critical to have a fierce name for your gun--but it certainly didn't hurt.

People think Billy the Kid was fast. And yeah, he was, no doubt about that--but it's something of an ace-in-the-hole if people know your gun is named: Suffer the Hemorrhage.

'Cause I mean, come on, who really wants to face a man who has a pistol named Suffer the Hemorrhage?

Wyatt Earp called his gun: Jimmy Bleeds. It really messed with people's minds. (Especially if they were named Jimmy.) But even if they weren't, they were still too uneasy to draw all that well.
"Who was Jimmy?" That thought swirled in the back of their mind.
"Was he faster than me? Crap, he probably was. And look what happened to him."

But when Doc Holliday named his pistol: Thornbrow Ruinface--the bar was set impossibly high. It's cruel. It's savage. It's subtly, ominously biblical. It's the name of a gun you'd wet yourself to avoid.


You don't believe Latigo Flint. You think he made up the fact that Doc Holliday had a gun named Thornbrow Ruinface. That's fine, you're entitled to your opinion. It's the 21st century after all--an age of enlightenment, an age of joy. And you don't have to worry about finding yourself standing alone in a dusty street, opposite a man with a gun named Thornbrow Ruinface.

(Unless of course you come to California and look up Latigo Flint.)


Monday, August 28, 2006

In the Purple Gloaming

Because we're all so literate and mysterious and also sexy here, the mysterious and sexy word tonight is Gloaming.

Gloaming is a noun that means evening dusk, twilight. Gloaming comes from Old English, glom. (Which I believe is an acronym for Gals Love Ominous Men.) And sure enough, girls are all but guaranteed to find you literate and mysterious and also sexy if you use the word "gloaming" well.

"And in the gloaming a figure approaches."

Would be the perfect thing to say if you're walking back to the dorms with cute college girls and you see your roommate, Lloyd, cutting across the quad to join you.

When the girls hear how well you've used "gloaming" they're going to fall for you, hard, and barely notice Lloyd when he trots up with a wave and a smile for everyone--even if he's hunky and richer than you.

Nay, the only thing that cock-block Lloyd can do is attempt to use "gloaming" better than you.

Which, knowing Lloyd, he's likely to try. Probably something like:
"Ahh. Friends well met in the gloaming. Hello, I'm Lloyd; don't believe I caught your names."

Lloyd's a sneaky bastard.

You must immediately regain the upper hand with something like:
"Shh Lloyd, we're harkening the calls of night birds from out in the gloaming mist."

To which he'll probably reply:
"Pardon, I didn't know, I've been indoors since noon, but the purple gloaming called to me and I just had to take a stroll."

Lloyd's a dick. But damn if he isn't really good too. Why didn't you think of "purple gloaming"?! Hmm?! Oh well, that's fine--it's just time to stab Lloyd in the throat with the ball point end of a ballpoint pen now.

Murder obscurer in gloaming.

Why are the girls running away? Probably just being coy. Merrily chase them down. Scream "gloaming" a lot as you do.

(When some whiny Emo band hits it big with an album titled: Murder Obscurer in Gloaming, you be sure to call bullshit and remind everyone they stole the line from me!)

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Consequence of Cruelty

It is a well-known fact that Latigo Flint is the quickest quickdraw that ever lived--a blazing handed gunslinger born hopelessly out of time. You have to look pretty hard to find someone who doesn't know that Latigo Flint can draw his guns so fast that somewhere Doc Holliday's tombstone wiggles a bit in applause. All of this is common knowledge.

What is less clear is why. Why now, a hundred and fifty years after such prodigious skill had its place, would the universes conspire to toss such a man into this wretched time, this digital age of neon and lawyers?

Cruelty. That's the only logical explanation. Pure, unfiltered cruelty--on the part of the universes that is.

And so then I guess I'm a consequence... a Consequence of Cruelty.

And if you think for a second that being a Consequence of Cruelty isn't just about as mysterious and dangerous and also sexy as it gets--well then, you've got a lot to learn about being mysterious and dangerous and also sexy.

Oftentimes the pretty girls at the nightclub will be all: "Ho-hum, why can't I meet an interesting man?"

And then I'll walk in, all squinty-eyed and menacing, and I won't talk to anyone until after I've received my drink. And if there are men there who need to be punched, I'm the one who punches them.

And then all the pretty girls turn to their pretty girlfriends and whisper, "Who's that?" And their pretty girlfriends reply, "Well-spotted my dear--that's Latigo Flint. He's a Consequence of Cruelty you know."

And then the pretty girls moisten their lips and touch their hair and hope I look their way, because consequences of cruelty have always been mysterious and dangerous and also sexy.

And then there's more to the story of course, but it doesn't really matter because it's gonna end like always: with me on cliff, screaming fury to the heavens, on my knees in the pouring rain.

And damn if that isn't mysterious and dangerous and also sexy.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Lake That Unicorns Could Not Swim

In October of last year Latigo Flint probably found The Lake That Unicorns Could Not Swim. The discovery received shockingly little media coverage, which fairly sings of a conspiracy of silence.

From the archives - October 30, 2005:

The Lake That Unicorns Could Not Swim

Latigo Flint has probably just made a significant paleontological discovery. This is rather exciting for a number of reasons--not the least of which is the fact that pretty girls tend to be quite keen to sleep with dashing men who make significant paleontological discoveries. No one is altogether certain why, but it is nonetheless a steady truth.

Anyway, this weekend Latigo Flint probably found The Lake That Unicorns Could Not Swim. How does Latigo Flint know? Well, it just sort of gives off that vibe. It's the sort of lake where if you stare at it long enough, you come to know that Unicorns probably died here, and in horrifying numbers.

For those of you unaware--the Unicorns that roamed our planet thousands of years ago loved doing three things above all else:
1) Standing in mountain meadows, caressing wildflowers with their velvet noses and blinking beautifully at stars.
2) Gently running their horns through waterfalls.
3) Swimming across lakes.

Of these, they liked the third the best because when they reached the far side, they got to jump out, climb a nearby rock and shake water droplets from their silken manes. This is how rainbows were invented, by the way.

But one lake held a monster--and when the Unicorns came to swim across it, as was their joy, the monster tore their throats out.

And it is this lake that Latigo Flint is quite certain he has finally found. Latigo Flint stood on the shore and called out over the water.
"Hey Monster!" Latigo Flint bellowed. "How many Unicorns have you killed through the eons you wretched fiend?"

The monster did not reply. The number was so high as to shame even a monster.

This was pretty damning, but Latigo Flint needed to definitively prove that it was in fact the lake that Unicorns could not swim. So in the name of sound scientific procedure, Latigo Flint stripped down to his buckskin briefs and swam across the lake.

The monster in the lake did not tear Latigo Flint's throat out.

Latigo Flint is not a Unicorn.

Latigo Flint will promptly submit his paper to all the pertinent scientific journals now.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Daybreaker

"If I were a little pioneer girl," Jake whispered to himself with a sigh. "I'd make friends with all the baby antelope and then never be lonely again."

And that was an unusually wistful thing to say, especially for a Daybreaker--which is a street term that means a Contract Killer who won't ever refuse a contract, no matter how helpless or pure the mark.

(And if you've never heard it used that way, it only proves that you aren't really "street".)

"What did you just say, Daybreaker?!" The client asked, glaring at Jake over the manila folder.
"Nothing." Jake replied softly, looking down at the folder again.
"Good. Keep it that way." The client smacked a greasy thumb into the face of the nun in the photo. "Sister Grace and the orphans saw Boss Guido shoplift a candy bar, in direct violation of his parole. Break her day, Daybreaker, and all the orphans too."

A single tear ran down Jake's cheek and splatted on the photo. The client lurched as if shot, then grabbed Jake's collar and jerked him close.

"Why Daybreaker, you've just gone all mushy and moral."

"No I haven't." Jake protested. And fired indiscriminately into the crowd below to prove it.

Screams drifted up from the busy street. The client peered over the side of bridge, eyebrows raised in appreciation. When he spoke again, his voice was almost kind.
"You've been dreaming about being a little pioneer girl again, haven't you Daybreaker?"

Jake lowered his head, ashamed.
"Yes." He replied with a whisper and moan.

"Will it affect your work?"

"No, of course not."

"So you'll take the job then?"

"Yes." Jake took the folder and tucked it in his satchel. "I'm the Daybreaker. It's what I do."

End of Scene

(Very noir! Very, very deliciously noir! I see Rob Schneider as The Daybreaker. It'll be his Oscar role.)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Dying Alone (In the Arms of my Cellmate)

Some people believe we have only seven chances to find someone and not die alone. And if that's true then I'm so afraid I just wasted my seventh when I shot the girl who sorts the mail.

Her name was Sara. Her hair was long and brown. She worked in the basement of my building and her job was to sort the mail. She sang as she worked; sang as she sorted the mail. She put the mail into bins according to company and floor, and she never made a mistake.

I think Sara loved me. I would go to her sorting room every day to pick up the mail for my floor, and she'd smile as she handed the bin and whisper that she loved me. But I pretended I didn't hear. I was a raging fool you see.

Then one day, not long ago, I was having a bad day and when she smiled at me I shot her.

Fortunately the wound wasn't fatal, but it was certainly more than sorry could fix. I immediately fell in love with her when I saw how cute she was angry. But it was too late and she pressed charges with all the indignant fury of a woman rejected then shot.

When the judge tattooed "you'll die alone" across my wicked heart with his gavel, Sara laughed and clapped her hands to the rhythm of justice served.

If a power-lifting cellmate who calls himself "Uncle Savagefist" is the answer to the question: "Who is ever going to love me now?" Then that's a question you'll wish you hadn't asked, and everything is most decidedly not going to be all right.

And so everything is most decidedly not going to be all right. Goodnight Sara, wherever you are. Goodnight fury. Goodnight love. Goodnight Uncle Savagefist.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

True Western Truth #127

In the Brutal American Old West there were really only four ways to die alone out in the snow if your horse broke his leg on a mountain pass and then a early winter storm blew in:

1) With a smiley face next to your frozen corpse, sketched in snow with your own urine.

2) With a frowny face next to your frozen corpse, sketched in snow with your own urine.

3) With a single word next to your frozen corpse, scrawled in snow with your own urine.

4) Nothing at all sketched or scrawled in snow next to your frozen corpse.

They remembered you fondest as the darkly humorous old coot you were if you opted for #1. They told better stories about your life if you opted for #3, as long as it was something good, like: "drat" or "flapjacks" or "ouch" or "Lucy". If you went with #4 you were forgotten by Christmas.

("What a fuckin' whiner--like the rest of us don't have troubles too." Was about all you could expect if you chose #2.)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Each Night (Sir Eduardo the Magnificent Otter)

Each night is an opportunity to write something truly transcendent. Something with power and fury and purpose--a trumpet of words in the dark.


But who says opportunities must always be seized? Hmm?

And so if I feel like writing about a magnificent river otter named Sir Eduardo the Magnificent, who among you can possibly stop me?

That's what I thought.

Sir Eduardo the Magnificent River Otter was indeed a magnificent otter. Probably the otter by which all other otters shall be judged.

Sometimes children fall through treacherous river ice. And then often Sir Eduardo is there--nuzzling them with his velvety nose so they won't be so scared. And then he drags the limp child to the riverbank and grimly fights off all the forest weasels that have come from the forest to feed.

"Betrayer of animals!" This is one of the many nasty things the forest weasels hiss, because soggy children are their favorite dish. But Sir Eduardo the Magnificent Otter heeds not their scorn.

"Back I say!" Snarls Sir Eduardo the Magnificent Otter. "Not even a taste of this soggy child shall you taste today."

And the forest weasels say, "Aww, be a sport."

And Sir Eduardo says, "Nope!" And means it.

"Come on, just a nip?" The hungry forest weasels beg.

To which Sir Eduardo replies, "Grrr!"

"Please." The forest weasels cajole, “We’ll share her tender spleen with you.”

But Sir Eduardo simply says, “Grrr!!!” Even louder than before.

And then several of the forest weasels try to flank Sir Eduardo the Magnificent River Otter--thinking they'll tear him apart and then feed on the soggy child. But Sir Eduardo is too quick and too savage and strong, and he hurts those villainous forest weasels--hurts them bad.

And then the rest of the forest weasels run away and then the search and rescue humans show up and bundle the child in blankets and take all the credit for her salvation.

But Sir Eduardo knows, and the child knows, and the forest weasels know and now you do too.

And he’s a magnificent river otter, that Sir Eduardo.

And I'm so proud to call him my friend.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

This Hammer is a Harbinger

"This hammer is a harbinger of custard stains and doom."

The man in the corner of the crowded bakery spoke very softly and Sara couldn't tell to whom. She glanced around at the other customers. They were all gazing through large glass-plated displays at the rows and rows of pastries. None of them seemed to have heard. Sara absently tucked her blond hair behind her ear, unsure of what to do. Surely that man hadn't just said--

"This hammer is a harbinger of custard stains and doom."

He spoke a bit louder this time. And Sara was left with little doubt--that man had just called his hammer a harbinger of custard stains and doom. She stared at him intently. He was of medium build, about five foot ten, wearing jeans and a collared shirt. Just another guy in a bakery shop--indistinguishable from all the rest--well, except that he was holding a hammer, and mumbling ominous things.

Sara left her place in line and slowly walked up to him. About halfway across she regretted it but it was too late--the line's gap had already filled in.

"Hello." Sara said, giving the man a pretty smile. He met her greeting for a moment with eyes that radiated shame. Then he tucked his head against his shoulder and didn't look up again.
"My name's Sara." Sara said softly. "What's yours?"

The man winced a bit as if struck, and tilted his hammer at her.
"This h-hammer--" he stammered.
"I know, I heard you." Sara replied. "It's a harbinger of custard stains and doom. But I asked you your name."
The man shuddered profoundly, caught in the grip of some personal chill. Sara touched his arm and he all but cried out. His muscles spasmed relentlessly.

"Larson." He managed to say. "My name is Larson." The hammer twitched as if alive.
"It's a pleasure to meet you Larson." Some faraway part of Sara was screaming--why would she talk to this man? It was as if she was caught in some riptide of fate, helpless but to be dragged along.

"This hammer--" Larson was moaning now. "It's a harbinger. A harbinger of custard stains and doom."

Sara slid one arm around his shoulders, pulling him tight to her. He wept on her neck like a child. Sara reached for his hammer.

"You don't understand." Larson sobbed.
"Shh." Sara whispered. "You'll feel better if I hold it for a while."
"No!" Larson gasped. "My hand, your hand--it doesn't matter. There will be a great smashing today. It has needs, this hammer. Needs you can't possibly contain. It is a harbinger, this hammer, a harbinger of custard stains and doom."

Sara grasped the hammer, just below the claw, and something electric slammed into her core. Larson gagged on something unholy, threw back his head and silently screamed. Savage flutters of unusual fury beat against Sara's soul. Larson slid down the length of her body and crumpled to the floor. And then the hammer was hers and his no more.

Something started snarling. Deep snarly snarls. Sara checked her throat for vibrations. It wasn't her. She glanced down at Larson. He was in no shape to snarl. Slowly, unwillingly, despite all rationality, Sara looked at the hammer in her hand. And if ever a hammer could grin, this one was. This one was.

Sara heard herself speaking.

"This hammer is a harbinger of custard stains and doom."

And then a great smashing began.

The End

Friday, August 11, 2006

An Outlaw Named Canebrake Divinity

The mysterious outlaw and pistoleer named Canebrake Divinity placed the barrel of his gun to his horse's eye.
"Song sung blood." Canebrake whispered. "Everybody knows one."
Canebrake pulled the trigger. His horse took another two steps and collapsed. And then Canebrake had to walk the rest of the way.

Chapter One: The Holdup
The stage driver was uneasy; the horses could sense it. It was in the way he held the reins, tight and twitchy, like a kitten on a paintball range.

The box at the back of the coach pressed heavy--heavy on the wheels and heavy on the driver's mind.
"It's too much gold." Bill mumbled to himself morosely, giving the reins an involuntary twitch. "Too much gold and too many people know I'm transporting it."

Bill stared out at the dirt road before him. It cut a narrow swath through the rugged land. Its very straightness seemed a promise; it spoke of towns up ahead--towns with banks and preachers and law. A place where no one man had to bear the burden of gold alone. And the road was not a liar; it did lead to such a place. But it wasn't entirely honest either, because in between here and there were a hundred places for outlaws to hide.

Bill knew this all too well, and he regretted every one of life's little tricks that had led him to this place. One minute later a shot rang out and there was Canebrake Divinity, standing in the road.

"Stick 'em up." Canebrake whispered. And Bill numbly complied.

I wish I could tell you this ended well for the stage driver named Bill--that Canebrake Divinity spared his life. But it simply was not to be. Canebrake Divinity was a mysterious outlaw and pistoleer--probably the most mysterious and outlawish there ever was. And his guns sang a song sung blood and then Bill died moaning, making wriggle marks in the sand.

A song sung blood I tells ya--a song sung blood it were.

(Hey, I'm talkin' 'bout Canebrake Divinity. I'm talkin' 'bout outlaws and pistoleers. I'm talkin' 'bout Canebrake Divinity--click it to meet him again.)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hounds of Venice

Many experts agree--any story with a title like Hounds of Venice deserves to be read twice. Never one to argue with experts, here it is again.

From the archives - March 24, 2006:


Hounds of Venice

This afternoon Latigo Flint and his relatively trusty sidekick, Kid Relish, were drinking on a restaurant patio, just waiting for the sun to go down.

"You know." Kid Relish mused, absently brushing the ivy wall. "They sure took all the fun out of crime when they stopped chasing suspects with hounds."

"Oh, I don't know Kid." I replied. "I bet there's places where they still do."

"Yeah, I guess." The Kid thought for a while. "Hey, Latigo--do you think in Venice they have Police Dolphins?"

I laughed but he was serious so my laughter trailed off awkwardly. "Um, I don't think so Kid. Police boats probably, but dolphins I doubt."

He thought about that for a bit.

"Yeah, I guess you're right Latigo. Besides--dolphins are so kind and friendly you probably couldn't train 'em to attack a crook even if you wanted to."

"You think Kid?" I asked.

"Yeah." He replied. "I mean dolphins are plenty smart, and in the police academy pool they'd probably be all bashin' the shit out of the inflatable dummies with ski masks painted on."

The Kid paused to finish his beer. I moved mine closer to me 'cause I knew he'd reach for it next.

"And the trainers." He continued. "The trainers would be all jumping around and shouting:
'Yippee! Theeese doll-pins ess ready por making attack ona crooks.'"

Kid Relish reached where my beer had been and frowned when he clutched at air. I nodded at Gus through the window and he pulled down two fresh glasses.

"But when they hit the canals for patrol, those dolphins would probably just make that friendly clickedy chirping sound and nuzzle the crook with their velvety noses, and maybe even help him to shore."

I shrugged and hoped he was almost done.

"'Why are you such estupido dolphins!!!'" Kid shot me a serious look. "That's what the trainers would yell."

"Hmm-hm." I glanced back through the window and wondered if I should cancel our order.

"But dolphins aren't stupid Latigo--Dolphins know the difference between inflatable dummies with ski masks painted on and humans."

"And you know what Latigo?" Kid Relish was starting to get agitated. "The dolphins would be all like:
'Hey boss, that's a job well done, huh? We're keeping our eyes sharply peeled for inflatable dummies with ski masks painted on and when we find 'em we're gonna bash the shit out of 'em. Oh, and by the way, a human was having a difficulty over there and we were thankfully able to help."

Gus walked out with our beers. The Kid drained his in three gulps, belched and dove right back in.

"'Estupido estupido dolphins!!!' Is what the trainers would shriek." Kid started punching the table. "'We don't understand.' The poor dolphins would reply."

Kid Relish froze in mid-punch and fixed me with a dangerous stare. I suddenly got the eerie feeling that if we saw the sunset tonight it'd be through the bars of a holding cell.

"And then know what Latigo?"

"What Kid?"

"The trainers would grab the black remote controls that they kept clipped to their belts."

"No, no Kid--they wouldn't do that." I assured him as I glanced uneasily at all the innocent people on the patio.

"Yesssss." The Kid nodded and I saw the smoldering glow of chemical fire in his wide, staring eyes. "Yes, they would. They'd pull out those little black remotes with the red flashing light that matched the light on the dolphins' collars."

I stood up and addressed everyone. "Your lives are in danger!!!" I bellowed. "Please leave now."
They stared back at me blankly. Meanwhile Kid Relish's eyes had rolled back in his head and he started to scream--something about exploding collars and the warm, pulsing odor of digested fish and murder.

"Please just run!" I urged the startled patrons. "This man has suddenly come to believe that you're all dolphin-killing Venetian police and I promise you won't like what's about to happen next."

But it was too strange a threat for them to process and they returned my plea with blinks. Fourteen had to fall before the rest of them found their legs.


"Those dolphins knew." Kid sobbed to me, much later as we sat in shackles. "After the first dolphin's head exploded, the others knew what was coming--they're very smart you know."

He closed his eyes and started rocking back and forth.

"I don't think we should kill things," Kid wailed. "That know they're being killed."

I didn't know what to say. His nose started running and I let him use my sleeve.

If you liked this story, you're sure to enjoy:

Burying the Sunshine
In which my relatively trusty sidekick, Kid Relish, decides to counterfeit foreign films.
(September 2005)

Kid Relish: The Birth of Fury
In which my relatively trusty sidekick tries to tear a man's throat out with a greasy fork and blame the death on wolves.
(February 2006)

The Mewling Moguls
In which my relatively trusty sidekick thinks about what it would be like to ski down a hill of live kittens, and also bludgeons writers with their own man-purses.
(June 2005)

If for some incomprehensible reason you didn't like Hounds of Venice, you probably shouldn't click any of these links.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

An Odd Thing About Dying

An odd thing about dying is how unsympathetic the other ghosts are. You stumble around, silently shrieking, passing right through walls and cars and pedestrians and churro stands, and they just sneer.

"Savage mercy, what the heck is all this?!" You howl without making a sound.

"Pffh. Fuckin' rookies." The other ghosts snort and go about their business of whispering dreadful things in the ears of the homeless insane.

"There's been a mistake!!!" You scream, stamping your foot on the sidewalk. Which curiously enough is supporting your "weight". You don't really notice though, you're much too upset for observational skills.

"I tell you there's been a mistake!"

Which is, of course, what all ghosts say at first, and the others none-too-politely make it clear that you should shut your "fuckin' deceased trap".

The other ghosts say the f-word a lot. It's like, the thing you do if you're a ghost. Well, that and be mean to new ghosts.

Anyway, it's not much fun, dying. I certainly don't recommend it.

So I came back. It was pretty easy actually. I just balled my translucent fists and yelled:
"HEY gol-dang it! I don't want to be dead anymore." And really meant it. (I think that's the trick you see, really meaning it.)

Lavender lighting crackled above my head that only the other ghosts could see.
"No you wretched fuck-up of a ghost!!!" They screamed. "Now a newborn has to take your place."

And that made me feel really, really bad.
"Crap!!!" I hollered. They were already shimmering and disappearing from view.
"I didn't know that. Nobody told me."

And from a hospital window up the street came the soundless wail of a newborn took way too soon. And then I was back. And man I was depressed about that kid. But at least I wasn't dead anymore. And plus, nobody told me so it wasn't my fault. And his parents were probably jerks.

But now he's probably going to haunt me. So, you know, like, that's not cool at all--sinister infant ghosts; all wobbly-headed and holding knives.

Oh well, penance and whatnot I reckon. Penance and whatnot I guess.

Friday, August 04, 2006

At The End Of All Things

At the end of all things sits a lie.
It was there from the beginning.
It mocks everything that we tried.
And we'd lost even when we were winning.

--a really grumpy guy

(And I mean really, really grumpy. Like, so grumpy that not even kittens can cheer him up. And I'm talkin' even if they're playing with yarn and pouncing at feathers and purring and stuff.)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Raised by Wolves (Girls Can't Resist)

Nearly a year and a half ago Latigo Flint wrote the definitive work on the subject of how to get women by leveraging the fact that you were raised by wolves.

Sunday's entry (and a shrewd catch by an old friend named Slarrow) raised a few questions that hopefully this can clear up. Now some people, assholes mostly, might say, "Hey, that lazy bastard is foisting a rerun on us--and that's two wolf posts in row." But they certainly won't say it Latigo Flint's face, because life is short enough already.

From the archives - March 9, 2005:


Raised by Wolves (Girls Can't Resist)

Good evening. It's ridiculously easy to get girls if you were raised by wolves--provided you look and act reasonably normal now. So if you're the only one in your extended circle of friends who was raised by wolves and you don't have girls lining up to date you, then you're doing something wrong, and you should listen to what Latigo Flint has to say.

First, it's important that everyone knows you were raised by wolves. Your love life cannot benefit if girls aren't aware of it. There are certain to be old newspaper articles that tell of your discovery, running wild with the pack, greasy and naked and free. Editors love human-interest stories about children raised by wolves--they can't get enough of them. In fact, sometimes editors will abandon their own children in the hopes they'll be adopted by a passing wolf pack, giving them the scoop. Anyway, find and digitize these clippings and get them on this internet thingy right away. Try to get access to the video news archives and upload them or something. Whatever you do, just make sure it's not obvious that you're the one circulating all this material.

Second: For heaven's sake, don't go around talking about it all the time. Nothing turns girls off faster than a guy raised by wolves who won't ever shut up about it. The rule should be you never initiate a conversation about being raised by wolves, and you enter into such discussions reluctantly--as if it's difficult for you to speak of it, but seeing as you really, really trust the people you're with, (and dern it, some of them need to be girls, understand?!) you're willing to open up and bare your soul a bit.

Now, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't drop subtle hints every once in a while about the stark duality that runs through the very fiber of your being--that juxtaposition of two very different worlds that you must always reconcile. The point is you bear this burden alone, silently like a wounded beast...

Ahhhhhhh yes, you understand now--the girls must see that it's the wolf in you that prevents cheap and casual discussion about your mysterious past, and they'll feel very honored if you're able to open up to them. (And all the hot loving you care to sample should quite promptly follow.)

An example of a good subtle hint would be if you're eating dinner with a group of people on an outdoor patio or a window booth with a view of the full moon. At some point your burning eyes would lock onto its brilliance. Fork hand dangles in mid-air, jaws muscles clench. Turmoil! Without being overt, they must sense your inner turmoil. Then it's gone. It passed. You retained control. Your eyes lower, a flicker of guilt. You resume eating.

"Oh god, that's right. You're the one who-"
One hand will go to pretty lips, the other will rest on your arm. Your lean muscles should abruptly tighten beneath her touch, then slowly relax. (This will be the hottest girl at the table if you've been doing everything right, as I've described above.)
"Are you okay?" She'll softly inquire. You wait a moment before answering.
"It's nothing." Your voice should be low and emotional, husky even. Continue eating. Count to ten then make eye contact.
"Thank you though." This should be a near whisper.

Come on, I don't have to tell you this is gold. You may have been raised by wolves, but you're certainly not stupid. So go now, reap the sexual benefits of your lupine upbringing. No need to thank Latigo Flint, I know you'll make me proud.

(Make sure you remember your Wolf Mother's name. It can be a real deal closer if you bungle something on the way to the girl's house and she's hesitating about inviting you in. Just lean against the car and start speaking quietly about your den family. Shewa Kai Laif-Laif is a pretty common name for female wolves. It translates to Agile Slayer of Rabbits. Kanagrif Shree-Naip isn't bad either. I think it means Tundra Queen.)