The first story I remember writing was about a man who caught a two-headed fish. He held it in his hand, marveling at it for a while, and then he noticed that it had another hook in it's mouth. Somebody else had caught it and let it go. So he carefully removed his hook and set it free.
I don't know how old I was when I wrote that, but I'm still trying to write a better story.
Tremain's exhibit had been the talk of the New York press, but Lorenzo had resisted all invitations to attend until now. The reason he gave was always the same: as a Lower East Side resident the thought of trudging to Williamsburg was too much. It was a rote answer, but had worked until his editor called upon him to cover the event.
So, pass in hand, he hopped the train to Brooklyn and made his way to the implacable studio with it's red litten windows and strangely unsettling industrial facade.
Once inside, he was met by a circle of art...
The child wanted the bully's red bicycle, but he knew to take it away would be going against a pecking order that had been around forever.
He walked up to the bully, who was sitting on the slightly oversized bike, and asked if he could ride it.
The bully squinted at him as he spoke, acting as though he couldn't hear him. As though the child had no voice at all.
"Get away from me," the bully said.
The child assured him that he only wanted to try the bike so he could tell his father if that was the...
He left the meeting sagging, a half inflated pool toy sinking in the acrid water. The sun was making him sweat, though he hadn't though that was possible. He's sweat so much during the interview he felt as desiccated as one of those silica packets they put in electronics to keep them dry.
Vanquished. Again. Another job lost because of flop sweat and his perplexing genetic gift of turning bright red under any form of pressure. How had his ancestors managed to carry their seed so far up the line? A bunch of panicky, stammering fools who traded flight or...
"Tis a penny," said he, and bent to retrieve the copper coin from the sidewalk. Holding it between gloved finger and thumb, he inspected the date with a squinting eye and dropped it into his vest pocket.
"Aye, twy twirrly twee, a penny's enough fer you an' me," he sang and performed a pirouette for the passerby.
A woman, richly attired and ambling along with an aristocratic gate, stopped to consider the man as he continued to spin in circles. A member of the upper crust, she lacked that innate mechanism, honed by the lower classes, which steered one away...
It was the most hideous thing he'd ever seen. A tiny horror. And scaly monster. But it was his. It was theirs.
He's wondered why his wife never really showed during her pregnancy. The doctor said it wasn't unheard of, and that there were instances of women who gave birth suddenly and unexpectedly, never knowing they'd been pregnant.
Still, the thought of a pregnant, skinny woman unnerved him. He worried about his wife. She was nearly 40 and had always been as skinny as you please. In fact, the same doctor had once told her she was a "bad candidate"...
"I really think you should use photos."
She gave me a sidelong glance. "You don't like these?"
"No, no. I'm not saying that. You did manage to capture a certain energy in their faces. Artistically, it's quite well done."
"Thanks, I think so."
"It just that..." I made sure to look away as I spoke so she couldn't stop me in my tracks with another glare.
"What?" I heard her say.
"It just that they're your children." Turned to her.
"I know," she beamed maternally.
"I certainly miss them. That's why I drew this picture."
"And it's a...
Heating nothing as I refrigerate.
Eating nothing as my body preserves.
We eat and are ultimately eaten.
Preheated, chilled and given to grubs.
We are products for sightless feeders.
Put a tag on me and ship me in a box.
Deliver me to the earth, to be opened up.
Reclined, collapsed, softened and served.
This oven of nothing is heated anyway.
I stare at the flames to assert my intention.
I am alive for now. For now.
Heavy midnight. The crawl of the planchette under our fingertips. The triptych was coming alive. One creature sprang from the painted panel. A beast, horned and elephantine, illuminated by the moon through the cellar window.
It spoke to us through the board:
“Extradimensional bovine dreamfeeders graze upon fronds that sprout from the heads of sleepers. These dreams—long, lush, iridescent fancies rooted in neuronic soil and flowering up into the night—are their food.
“The beasts lumber through a meadow of musing at night, their jaws drooling plasmic sludge, their snorts ruffling moppet heads from across the chasm of dimension. They pass...
There is a crow somewhere in the trees, unseen but seeing all. There are a million tiny eyes beneath the grass that feel our footsteps and send out warnings.
Somewhere in the world is a man who would do us harm if we were to cross his path at this moment. It's midnight. A few cars drive past us, and each might contain a demented murderer.
The moon shows its bellyful of craters, and some of the stars are planets. There are a million tiny eyes up there somewhere looking out at us.
This is the eve of something momentous....
The singer still held onto his microphone as he slumped to the stage. He felt as through a very large hand was pulling him very quickly through an ocean of green water. The crowd retreated, their faces elongating. Their cheers elongated, too, as though one corner of the cheer had been nailed to a doorway and then stretched around the world.
The world is elastic, he thought, and couldn't imagine why he hadn't noticed this before. Everything has a soft suppleness to it if you look hard enough, or perhaps if you learn not to look so closely.