Story 3 – Written Under Self Imposed Duress

This is a tale of a cover band. But not just any cover band. A cover band who reached for heights undreamt of, who opened their calloused palms to receive a gift of the muse spurned by those around them. A gift that traditional halls of music cried out against. A cover band who didn’t let the shortsighted critics, the petty, puling masses or their own faithless families deter them from the truth. Harmony, phat beats, and God were their guiding star. They were The BeachGee Boys. And this is their story. 

“Hey, Sam.”

“What?”

“Heh, what-what if, listen. Shut up, dude, just listen. What if we did, like, a cover of Surfer Girl but had the track to No Sleep til Brooklyn behind it?”

“That’s stupid.”

“No, no, listen. We’d be….The Beachie Boys.”

“Woah.”
“Yeah.”

“But how would people know it was still Surfer Girl if it just sounds like No Sleep?”

“We keep the words and we do fuckin’ sick stacked harmonies but that go with No Sleep chords instead.”

“Dude, there’s like no melody to that song. I don’t even know if it has chords.”

“Of course it has chords, it’s a song, dude.”

“Um, not all songs have chords. Lime in the Coconut is one chord.”

“Seriously.”

“Dude, yes.”

“Fuuuck, man. Well, how do we do it, then?”

“DUDE. OH SHIT, DUDE.”

“What? What?”

“Dude, what if we add another band to the band mashup?”

“Why? Beachie Boys is perfect. You can’t ruin it with some other band, it’ll mess up the name. Man, don’t mess up my name, okay? It’s like the best one I’ve thought of in a really really long time and I need this right now. Clara left and Mom’s sick and, like, everything’s just so shitty, I just need this, okay?”

“Bro, I will not mess up the name. Listen. Are you ready?”

“Dude, what, just say it.”

“Are. You. Ready?”

“JUST SAY IT, SAM, FUCK.”

“The BeachGee Boys.”

“……….”

“WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT, BEACHGEE? THAT ISN’T EVEN A THING, IT DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE. THAT SOUNDS FUCKING STUPID, JESUS, SAM!”

“Mike, dude, it’s The Beach Boys and The Beastie Boys and The BeeGees!”

“Woah.”

Right?!

“Woah, okay. We could have a drum machine AND a real drummer! And Mike Leblanc who lives on the other side of Kroger has a killer falsetto, I bet he would be down. Actually, he would totally be down, his mom just got married again and he needs to get out of the house.”

“YES, YES! Dude, yes!”

“This is so sick.”

“So so sick.”

“Sick.”

Yes, there’s a lot of stars in the firmament, but I don’t know if one ever shone so brightly as…The BeachGee Boys.

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Story 3 – Written Under Self Imposed Duress

Story 2 – Caffeine

Jitter jitter jitter jitter twitch twitch twitch. I didn’t think I’d have to hide for so long when I had that tea and then that coffee and then the second coffee this morning. It’s not having to pee that’s the bad part (though I do really have to pee) it’s that my eyes won’t stay still in my head. And the angle of the view of the street out the broken window is giving me vertigo. How can I watch that door when I can’t concentrate for three goddamn seconds together?

Whoo. Okay. Okay, I got this. Just gotta keep my knees still and then everything else will fall in line. Breathe in and out.

Beard Guy just opened the window and stuck his head out. He’s yelling to Bald Tattoo Man. Something about the eclipse? Or maybe clippers. He is bald after all. He must own clippers. Very important in maintaining that shiny headed kind of baldness. I wonder if he oils his head. I would oil my head if I were bald. I wonder what he oils it with.

CONCENTRATE.

Okay, Bald Man is going down the alley. Turning…left. Gone. Beard Guy’s gone back inside. If I were a bold person, I would make a break for it now, but I feel like my knees won’t hold me. I think I’ll trip over a pile of empty paint cans and twist my ankle and just be lying there like a dead beetle when all the cultists come for me.

See, this is the problem with urban exploring, it is very hazardous to the untrained. And not to be embarked upon on a whim by people who are bad at falling. Who had too much caffeine. And not enough breakfast. And need to pee. And can’t stop monologuing.

To be fair, it is excellent procrastination and avoidance. Why, I might have actually made it to the job interview if I hadn’t decided this place needed to be urbanely explored post haste. I might have gotten the job. Dodged that bullet, girl, good going.

Oop, Baldy’s back. With bagels. Oh. Oh God. I would sing in the streets for a bagel right now. Not to him, obviously. That would go poorly. I would definitely dropkick him for his bagels if I knew how to dropkick. (Mental note: learn how to do drop kicks.)

He’s…he’s going to throw the bagels in the window. To Beard. Huh. Well, I guess that adds to the sum of my knowledge. Their perimeter watch is fairly serious. Heh. Perimeter. Feel like I’m in a tv show.

You know, the whole reason I have a flip phone is its indestructible quality. When it falls onto hard surfaces, it is supposed to scoff at them, not to burst into ten unhandy pieces. The correct number is three unhandy pieces. That I put back together. Every time. Shameful. I’ll be sending a stern email if I don’t get sacrificed today. 

Guhhhh. I suppose I could pee in one of the paint cans. I wish I had some water. No, I wish I had a sandwich. No, I wish I was at home in bed wishing I was out doing something exciting.

Ope, something’s happening. Door’s opening. Please be the girl, please be the girl, please be the girl.

It’s another guy. New guy. Looks, wow, looks pretty psycho. I think he has tattoos on his eyelids. Oh, jeez, yes definitely has eyeballs tattooed on his eyelids. That is surprisingly gross. Ugh, veiny. Why would you tattoo the eyeball veins in?

He’s talking to Bald. Handwaving. Exclamations. Beard just stuck his head back out the window. He’s yelling. Mehn mehn mehn, not my fault, someone else’s fault, blehblehbleh. Eyelids is not having it. What wasn’t your fault? Come on, Beard, give me some nouns. FUCK YOU, BEARD, USE A GODDAMN NOUN.

Breathe. Breathing. Okay.

They’re missing something that’s supposed to be there, Beard possibly was supposed to get/have it. Bald is mad. Eyelids is mad. Beard is sulking. He just slammed the window down again.

Looks like Eyelids is leaving. They’re doing the secret handshake thing again. Yes, yes, dress up your human trafficking or whatever it is in a Masonic party dress, you fucking skin tags.

Oooh, wait, Bald is going with him. Shit. Shit. I think my time is now.

Wow. I do not want to do this. When they say heart in your mouth, it isn’t a metaphor. I can feel my pulse in my soft palate.

Okay, got my pile of bricks. Knees: mostly operational. Courage: definitely in there somewhere. Here we go.

Hahah! Damn that’s a pretty sound. That fucker EXPLODED. Here comes Beard running. He’s looking at the broken window. He found the brick. You ready, Beard? You ready for six years of softball pitching?

Um. Shit. That was harder than I thought. I think, I think he might be dead. I can’t breathe so well. Ahh.

No time. Got two bricks, I’m going for it.

Jumped the paint cans (good job, knees), avoided the rusty rebar pit trap. I guess I’m just going to drop from where the stairs were. I’ll drop the bricks first.

Owww. Shit. It’s okay, it’s okay, I can get a tetanus shot any old time if I move fast enough and get out of here. Got my bricks.

Okay, I’m in the street. Their door is locked. Madame Brick, would you care to do the honours? Why, thank you, I declare, that doorknob was positively bowled over by your charms. Crap, there’s a dead bolt too. Shitshitshitshit.

You know when they break down doors in tv shows? I think…that might not be accurate. Wow. You have to go at that sucker like you’re in a mosh pit.

Boom! Gotcha, ahaha, noooo problem!

Nobody in the first floor hall, excellent. Stairs, stairs, stairs. Stairs!

Oh. He’s definitely dead. That isn’t what I wanted. God, that isn’t what I wanted. I can’t do this.

Keep moving.

Empty room, empty room. Locked room. Beard’s gotta have the key, right?

Oh man. He’s so soft. Oh, people should not feel like this. Breast pocket, got it.

Dropped it. Fuck, dropped it again, I WILL NEVER DRINK COFFEE EVER AGAIN IF I GET OUT OF THIS OKAY.

Oh Jesus, she’s in here but she’s all tied up. No time no time no time.

I’m just going to carry her out, get her someplace safe or at the very least someplace public and then we can deal with the ropes.

She’s yelling into the gag, I’m taking her blindfold off.

This woman is pissed. Here we go, fireman’s carry. I’m sorry. I know. Please stop yelling at me.

Lift with the legs. Ooh shit. No, you got it. We got it.

Stairs. Stairs are hard.

Run run run, okay, out in the street, heavyyyyy, we’re going, we’re getting we are gone.

Story 2 – Caffeine

Story Day 1 – Extreme Whimsy

Hello friends! I’m writing a story every day (mostly). My only rules for myself is that it has to be more than a page and have some kind of hacked together ending. I’m usually large on atmosphere and dim on endings, so this is my training ground. I’ve gotten rid of some of my social media, so this is the place to roll around in my thoughts if that’s a thing you like. Now…..read on! For EXTREME WHIMSY.

 

 

Once upon a time there was a man. A little teeny wee tiny whiney man named Harold Gerald. He lived in a tree stump with a fox named Sir and a mysterious fungus who never did tell them its name. Harold Gerald and Sir had bunk beds inside the stump and the fungus just stayed right where it was, day or night, and thought its thoughts and dreamed its dreams. There was a clever little kitchen and washroom. A crevice on the outside of the stump that collected rain water had had a small hole drilled into its bottom by Harold Gerald and then plugged with a waxy leaf. When he needed water, he would simply shift the leaf and let the water run into the crevice directly beneath it, which would fill up nicely for drinking or washing or splashing Sir, or watering the fungus when it looked peakéd.

  For the stove, Harold Gerald had bored up at an angle through the outside of the stump and popped a piece of bamboo (liberated from the garden of the Wolsey’s, a modern couple determined to live a thoroughly modern life) through the resultant hole. He would light very small fires (the danger of their home burning down being very much in his mind) on a flat stone and cook tadpoles and bits of tuber and things on it. The bamboo drew the smoke out nicely and their home stayed snug and free of soot.

   For the lavatory, I shall not go into detail, this being a story for the sensitive and those not inclined to indulge in horror. Suffice it to say, it was out of doors. And it was rudimentary.

   Well, when Harold Gerald and Sir and the fungus had lived together a good long time, things began to rub along not quite so pleasantly as they had. The stump felt too small. Sir had that unfortunate oily rankness which he truly couldn’t help, being a wild fox. Perhaps if he had not in his heart of hearts been just a bit smug about his manly odor. But perhaps does not serve us, so we shall let it be. And the fungus was always in the way, anytime you turned around, there it was under your feet, stopping you from whittling or writing letters or just going about your day, blast the thing. Just sitting there, judging you for not being as whimsical and impenetrable as it was, for having some notion of what you wanted to get done, for having the temerity to plan. Hmph. I should like to see the fungus make us all lovely bunk beds, that’s all I have to say.

   And of course, Harold Gerald. I did not deceive you merely for the rhyme when I said he was whiney. For Harold Gerald had a permanent cold. When one cannot breathe through one’s nose, one surely cannot be upbraided if a hint of nasality sidles into the voice. And when one has had a cold for a very long time, perhaps some bitterness, some self-pity and resentment towards people who can breathe through their noses may begin to show itself in one’s character. Alas. We are creatures of clay after all, and it’s very unpleasant when our clay goes awry.

   For a while, Harold Gerald tried to be patient, to be a good stumpmate, polite and circumspect, dutiful with the dishes and diligent with the dirty laundry. But oh when he came home from a long day of tramping through the dew with a basket full of supper and a heart full of poetry and was greeted by MESS. It was more than he could bear. The sight of Sir and the fungus sprawling debauched in acorn crumbs and empty ginger ale bottles, with his good linen dragged of his bed to be used as a pillow and his lovely trivet from his Nanny propping up the intoxicated and intrusive squirrel from next door, well, it lit a fire in his breast.

   “No more!” he cried. “Out! Out, I say! Yes, we’ve all been friends for years and I love you both dearly, but I cannot bear this any longer. Morning and night, I work and I try to give us a nice home and you! You give nothing! You only take! You are blind to my efforts and in your blindness you spoil them again and again! It is infamous and IT IS OVER!”

   And did they apologize? Did they recognize the error of their ways? No. For they had not learned to take the time to feel things, to let them boil as they will and wait patiently until the fire’s gone out of them and you can have a good look at what’s left behind. They drew haughtiness over themselves like a cloak to cover the shock of wounded feelings and they FLOUNCED from the stump. Well, Sir and the squirrel flounced. Squirrels are excellent flouncers, I don’t know if you knew. Try and picture it now. Isn’t it wonderful to behold?

The fungus, of course, couldn’t flounce, but over the following weeks it somehow drifted from inside to outside, moving unseen, and turned its spotted cap away from the little front door so that it should not perceive certain people coming and going.

   Leaving Harold Gerald all alone in the stump with the bunk beds and the clever kitchen and the bamboo chimney. Did he weep bitter tears? Did he feel deeply the loss of companionship and camaraderie? Did he lay awake at night and think with regret of the emptiness of the other bunk?

No.

  He had a wonderful time. He got up when he pleased, went to sleep when he pleased, made elaborate, if minuscule, meals for himself and played the kalimba incessantly, an activity which had been frowned upon by individuals we won’t name. He wrote reams of poetry and turned some of them into songs (accompanied by the kalimba). He thought new thoughts and he remembered all his dreams when he woke. He was happy.

   About a month went by, or moon to moon as they call it in that particular wood. And one cold night when the wind sent the mist right up your nose and the smell of the forest and the rotting leaves made you long for something you could never quite get hold of, Sir (and the squirrel, whom he had moved in with) came a-knocking. You see, they had finally had time to feel their feelings. And when the shock and pain and pride had ended and flowed away, they had left small hard embers of shame in their wake. They had said to themselves, after all, why should we appreciate Harold Gerald, when he is so dreadfully whiney? He is lucky to have friends like us, dashing fellows who tolerate his odd ways. But that line of talk made the embers of shame flare up dreadfully and give them pains in the chest. And when nothing would douse the embers, they dragged on their overcoats (a fox in an overcoat is a sight to see, because tailors always get the sleeves wrong) and made their way through the dark night to the stump.

   Harold Gerald heard the knock and paused in his kalimba concerto (he really had been incredibly inspired). He pushed back his stool and made his way carefully to the door.

   Sir had prepared a lot of fine speeches, none of them admitting much fault, all of them skirting the event that caused the rift, but when the door creaked open and he saw the kindly lamplight shining on the dear wizened face of Harold Gerald, all thoughts of fault or dignity or even hope of returning flew out of his head and he began to cry. Lots of small tears falling very fast, not in the least picturesque. His black nose ran and he opened his long snout and wailed. The squirrel, being very easily led in all things (which is, of course, why he had run into trouble with the drink), began to cry with him. His high piping sobs were a piccolo counterpoint to Sir’s violin bawling.

  Harold Gerald took him by the shoulder and led him inside. No one was looking, there being rather a lot of excitement and action right at the moment, but the fungus oozed quietly in the door as well. Harold Gerald made three cups of tea and from the good blue tin he took three of the nice cakes while Sir and the squirrel (his name was Phyllis, but I don’t suppose that matters very much at this point) got all their crying out. He placed a cup of tea and a cake before each of them and they both began to eat and drink through their tears, which makes very odd sounds if you’ve heard it, but is exceedingly comforting to do, especially when the food seems to come with the prospect of forgiveness from a wronged party.

“I’m sorry,” whispered Sir.

“Me too,” peeped the squirrel.

The fungus swayed a bit and its cap looked decidedly contrite.

Harold Gerald looked around at them. His silly flawed friends. His heart overflowed.

“I forgive you,” he said with the kindest smile in the world, “and you can’t move back in.”

  So Sir and the squirrel set up permanent quarters together and got on very well indeed, both of them being chatty and needing someone else to chat with. And the fungus began a curious nomadic sort of life, going from tree to tree and visiting its cousins and its clones to see how they were getting on. And Harold Gerald kept the bottom bunk clean and sweet with lavender for the nights when the ginger ale and the acorns came out, and all his friends came to sing and laugh and while away the night to the strains of the kalimba.

Story Day 1 – Extreme Whimsy