Happy Birthday, Ors.

Disclaimer: The following are flash shorts written in the round, blind, one sentence at a time, by a table of six people. A perfect party game my fellows and I like to call “Rambling”.

The rain stopped and I looked out the window, thinking: today is my day, finally. At last, I could ignore my allergy to water and walk to the corner store. Not that they caried any cola here; only “Pepsi”, the bastards. Being raised in Atlanta meant I couldn’t even bear to speak its name.

Ignoring my past trama, I took a deep breath, summoned my courage and spoke a single word: “Furby”.

Not surprisingly and unfortunately, that one word was *not* a universal peace-maker. In fact, it just got everyone so stirred up that no-one could even count tp three before guns were out and *someone* lost a head.

I swear to god, every time I give firearms to kindergarteners, something just HAS to go wrong.

It happened in a blur – a flash of light, the unmistakable stench of gun powder and scorched hair, a splash of blood too red, and pain that started in my groin and spread — “Shit,” and then I dropped.

It was unlikely that the cat had gotten in the chimney unaided. I suspected a kindly Santa had helped spirit him up, but then, they said I was crazy.

It was only because of the incident with the leprachauns, which I still maintain was entirely Mary’s fault. After all, Mary had been the money-hungry snitch from the start and how — HOW was I to know leprachauns eat people?!

It WAS an extremely obscure aspect of the mythology, only really partly known even in Ireland. And though it was obscure, it did have a wikipedia page descriing its beautiful green wings and gleaming eyes. Someone kept deleting the vital information about its lethal venom. So when the mutated guinea pig escaped, no one could cute the bits.

The next year, everyone was sporting cowlicks and making grunting noises.

By the time the squirrel exploded, it as already too late. By the time they figured out the problem, the raccoon and the muskrat had gone too.

“Time for the explosives,” Captain called, “We’ll blow ’em out for sure!”

Most of the crew, though obliging, were nowhere near sure of that, however, and they dragged their heels over setting the charges. They adorned the looming contrete curve, the placid lake, and the cheap electricity. But something had to give.

What should have been expected but somehow missed was the fact the old damn was in poor shape. It simply couldn’t handle the spawning salmon. They way their dead fishy eyes gaped after coitus was enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies.

So, everyone had a shower, they quietly agreed to burn the evidence, and as the sun set, the flames raged, history was erased, and they all thought — now what?

Sadly, my week began with a surprise. Not a happy someone-gave-me-a-secret-present kind of surpise; oh no! It was more of a “hey look, some asshole thre a tennis-ball through your sun-room ceiling and a nest of wasps has taken up permanent residence” sort of surprise. Which was my favorite sort – the kind I had brought my attack swan to deal with.

People laugh at my swan until they find themselves with a broken tibia. Not the femer, not the fibia, not any other bone, just the tibia shattered into a million pieces. The doctors later gave it a zero chance to save it, though that was ignored successfully.

Death – Grandma Rose used to say – is natural, and when we all collectively remembered that, murder just sounded that much…well, funnier really. So we took turns poisoning, stabbing, and shooting each other until we stopped laughing for good — well, everyone except for Grandma, who is probably still laughing. Bless her.

“Happy fucking birthday,” he screamed to no-one in particular.

“It’s not my birthday!” about six uncreative or idiotically gullable passer-bys said back.

It was these morons we were after, so as son as they spoke, we bagged them over the head, tazed them, and tossed them in the back of the van.

We all agreed it was for the best; no one could stand those Scottish accents of theirs. They took all the whiskey with them, just to spite us. The bastard shit heels were too drunk or dumb to realize we’d meet again. Meet again in a darkened bar with a crowbar and a shattered skull to seal the deal.

Langon wasn’t about to take this sketchy message seriously, and crumpled the paper it was on. Fate, however, was against Langon – had been since day one – and so, of course, the inevtiable did happen: the sun went super-nova and obliterated the earth.
Oh well.

He knew instantly when the dolphin-harnessing plan went terribly wrong. To have loved a sea mammal, Flit thought, was to have gone down Road Failure at high speed.

But, could you really call it a mammal? What even really were the scientific distinctions between a fish and a mammal? Fur and fins, live births and fertilized eggs, lungs and gills all mixed up..

“Hell is other people,” so its said, but Kafka never worked in a rendering plant.

THe feeling of fatty animal ghosts clung to her for days no matter how she washed. By the third day, her only options appeared to be a full bath of lysol or a sandblaster. Lysol was for germophobes, so sandblaster is was.

And the sandblaster seemed actually strangely successful!

I believed in love, hope, and basic human goodness — then I made my first friend. Sonja, bitch goddess of passive/aggressive words and actions. Too many notes, too many misunderstandings, too much bullshit for one octopus to handle.

“Everything’s hattah unda de watah” What kind of tripe is that? It thought as it dropped the mallets and unceremoniously ditched out. Literally just ran its bleeding little heart out, and that’s no metaphor because it actually ran unti it died; no joke. And it was also literally bleeding all over the goddamn carpet.

“OMG – BOOD EVERYWHERE,” the report would read later.

Lazy journalists and taking the Lord’s Name in vain piss me off endlessly; I would not read it.

“Fuck me Jesus that was one hell of a book.”

We blotted ten napiks worth of grease off of that pizza, and it wasn’t even an extra-large. Not even five minutes later, our bicylces were again squeek fere and ready to charge off into the unknown.

The pack of feral dogs proved to be far more problematic to our group. They stalked us for days until Jorge finally collapsed from dehydration.

I said we could have solved the problem much sooner with a well-placed bullet or two, but no-one was having that. So, I picked up my bullets out of the grin I’d drawn in the sand, kicked the grid in, and told everyone to get stuffed in my meanest voice.

Honestly? Probably sounded more like a whiney/angsty teen or something, but I tried. Like, omg, I tried. Why do people have to be such lazy dogs about everything?

The sun caught Tallow in the eyes just as the bike crested the last hill. It was enough of a beautiful distraction to cause one of the wheels to snag a particularly gnarly root and destroy the careful balance, tipping the ride towards a tumble. In slow motion they fell, and yet they felt in their heart, they couldn’t take their eyes off the glorious view.

Wanting to see a live volcano had been their dream – just not like this.

Kayla took a deep breath and began to summon her water spirit, but it was too late. By then, the flames had overtaken her entire regiment. “To hell with this,” with a middle finger to the fire, because she was over it – all of it.

“I need to fly to Antarctica or something. Get away from all this,” she thought.

So, fleeing the warmth and never-ending Bellingham Blue Skies, off she went to meet her icy doom.

“Oh my god Becky, enough of your bullshit,” I had sen this movie before. Becky was always full of bullshit, so I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was. So as she kept piling and piling it on me, my mouth just kept getting bigger and my eyes wider.

When she finally stopped, god! thought I’d die, and then she gets out a knife and begins sharpening it with no expression at al. Two could play at this game, I thought, and put the kettle on; AT her.

She smirked and started taking my Nana’s best china down, and from the cream pot choice, I knew she was going to serve tea – badly. So she did, dropping every cup, saucer, and sugar pot until the table resembled a badly fractured glacier.

Everyone stopped and stared in the silence after the final crash. One person tried to clap: everyone just shook their heads dissapprovingly until it stopped.

The concrete heaved, buckled, and cracked, revealing something better left buried. The stench seared all five sense in unforgettable ways.

“God dammit, Buck,” I muttered, “wash the dishes already.”

Butck, being a moose-head on the wall, predictably had nothing to say. So, the call was made, in came the moose-head collectors – you know the type: never shot a gun, don’t-know-how-to-hunt crazies who just stuff their walls full of this shit – and Buck was never “heard from” again.

Mags didn’t want that to be true and within a week of the disappearance had made a pretty strong self-declaration to find Buck. They packed a bag with the usual supplies: rope, knife, lighter, tarp, sleeping bag and a half dead squirerl. The basic consensus was it wasn’t camping without a first night of Brunswick Stew. Of course, none of them lived to dawn, so that only mattered to me.

Have you ever considered,” Stella asked thoughtfully between bites of spaghetti, “that you might actually be a fish-man?”

“That would explain the smell I can’t get rid of,” Julie said with a sigh.

“Yeah,” I said, still holding the exstinguisher, “Tires burn great at the land fill but the home hearth if a poor choice.”

And though the smoke was thick and black, the pizza came out alright with only the faintest hint of rubber. Really, if you added enough of the “oregano” they’d scrounged up, you wouldn’t really tast it at all.

Like the time we mistook poison hemlock for wild carots – we seasoned that shit so well it was delicious. Gravnted, our memories of what poison hemlock actually *tasted* like are understandably fuzzy.

Without wasting time, I pulled out my edible plant book from my bag, fumbled, and dropped it into the puddle. “Fine!” shaking my fist at the universe determined to fuck me over. “I’ll just starve.”


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