Full Story– Twenty-Three Million

“Read well, but don’t ever become well-read.”

My dad at this time in his life had skin the color of chicken fat, like they used to keep in pitchers at old Jewish restaurants.  His hand pointed with a limp index finger grown enormously fat, or perhaps that was loose skin making it look so.

He had come to live by the Port Authority.  Or at least that’s where I always saw him.  He probably lived somewhere else and just hung around at the Port Authority during the day; it’s strange that I never knew where he lived, even though we were close.   After him and my mother separated he became hard to find.  We would meet for a bag of potato chips in one of the parks.  Each time I’d offer to pay for something nicer and he refused.

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What the hell am I going to do with this?

I came up with this incredibly strange idea two years ago and it became a bit of an obsession: A horror story where the monster is a tiny adult human who clucks like a turkey at the protagonist out of a mess of bushes on the side of the road near his house.   This is my attempt at the beginning of this story.  Going the right direction?



The front yard, framed by the window, is unkempt.  Two elastic red squirrels play in the grass.  Stalks wave around. They (the squirrels) stop suddenly at random, then start again, barking and chattering.  Inside the house, next to the window, the wall, painted cleanly green, is defaced with plaster.  The bed is too short for the young man who lies in it.  His feet bend at the ankles and his heels point at the ground.

On the floor sitting against the wall is his sister.  Her hair is dark blonde and her face is immensely pale.  She has a way of staring straight, when she talks, at the same spot, and she only looks up or looks away for a brief moment when she has something exciting or perceivably surprising to say, which she usually says in an exaggerated monotone, as opposed to her normal tone which implies a perennial question, rising in pitch, her glance never quite matching her words.

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Dr. Faustus– Full story

I wrote this something like three months ago, trying to imitate the tone of a David Lynch movie cause that’s what I was into at the time.  It definitely focuses on the prose more than the story, but I feel like in composition– especially the earlier stages– you have to try a couple different styles.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.  Feed me feedback.

Dr. Faustus

Mommy is alone in the kitchen. Her fingers knead purple ground meat. Streaks of translucent grease cross her face. The vent above the stovetop is on high and squeals a bit, so Mommy presses her thumbs into her ears. She gets blood or something inside her ears. She picks up a knife to cut celery but the grease is all over her hand. The knife slips out of her grip and she cuts her palm. She swears and clenches her wrist. A drop of blood is diluted by the dampness of her hand, and falls onto the cutting board mixed with brownish oil.

Mommy dreamed last night that her baby came in the mail packed in cellophane. When she tore off the tape and used her fingernails to pry the staples, she took out her baby but it had the face of a mouse and no arms and no stomach. Its legs were bent like a frog’s, its head stuck atop elephantine thighs. Her baby hopped around her kitchen; then it died, gasping for air like a fish, its tongue slapping at the green and white tiles, which like everything in Mommy’s house were very clean. Another night Mommy dreamed she saw her baby at a department store, a Walmart or a Target with the fluorescent lights screamingly bright. She found her baby thrown in the section with the porch chairs and the patio umbrellas, when it should have been with the pharmaceuticals. She walked to checkout with the box under her arm and the pale fat girl behind the counter swiped it with a wand and then Mommy swiped her credit card, and then, going to her car, Mommy noticed that the tape on the box had been tampered with and the package was damaged, open in a corner; her baby had been picked apart and eaten with a bag of corn puffs. Little toes rolled here and there on the cardboard, smudged in flavored orange dust.

Mommy and Gary have waited for their baby almost a month now; six months ago Mommy retired from her job; a year before that, Gary’s website blew up. Mommy was barren, so the real Mommy, another Mommy, had been paid a sum of money and was lying on a beach in Maine, cracking lobster shells and dunking violet meat into tiny plastic cups filled with butter. (The surrogate Mommy is the daughter of a lobster fisherman in Maine. Mommy has never seen the other Mommy, and she imagines her this way).

Mommy takes a fistful of ground meat and presses it into a hot pan that looks the same as a cold pan. Steam rises. It smells like bugs.

Their land is heavily wooded. A groundskeeper comes once a week. A maid service comes the same day as the groundskeeper.

“What’s the plan for today?” Asks Gary, standing by the kitchen table.

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