Category Archives: Experimental Fiction- Shorts

Short pieces ranging from 1 to 799 words.

Redo: Things She Could Be Doing Instead

This post has been redone.

1.Working*

* Right now she’s supposed to be writing two articles: one is on the Honors program and the other is on invested professorships. Until a few weeks ago, she had no idea what an invested professorship was.  Apparently it’s like a grant for professors awarded by extremely benevolent benefactors or groups of people. The hardest part of her job is transcribing interviews, mostly because you never realize how much people say “Uh, um, like, ah,” along with other hesitation noises or repeat themselves until you have to listen to a recording of their voice over and over again. Those noises ruin some of the best quotes.

Sometimes she doubts herself and  feels like she’s going to be a bad reporter because when people make hesitation noises during an interview she makes a cringe face because that quote that sounded so eloquent and full of emotion was just ruined by the interviewee saying “well, you know,” smack dab in the middle of it. Other times she doesn’t know if she should be a reporter at all. Some days she dreams about being a professional mattress tester or bubblewrap examiner. She believes she would be an excellent mattress tester personally.

mattress tester

Bliss.

2. Eating lunch**

** Her fiance made her lunch today. He made her a sandwich and gave her two packs of cheese crackers, a Mountain Dew Code Red, and a can of vienna sausages. With no fork. Her choices consist of eating the wee little weiners with her fingers and risk losing a digit to the unforgiving sharp metal edges of the can or staring at it blankly and hoping the sausage fairy comes to her assistance. Somehow this seems like a scene out of a SAW movie.

can of vienna sausages

Seemingly harmless

3. Sleeping***

***Granted, she is still at work, but she also knows she’s not the first person with a desk job who’s fantasized about making a fort in the knee space beneath their desk. Seriously, all she needs is a pillow and a little curtain and she’d be fine. It would be a nice place to spend her lunch breaks. Her can of vienna sausages could keep her company.

4. Staring into the abyss quietly****

****Unfortunately, much of the time she spends writing turns into this. She believes the abyss is the only thing that doesn’t mind if she stares at it while the slow, grinding wheels of inspiration turn in her head.  Most people get weirded out by her staring into space. Probably because the space she’s staring at is directly to the left of their head. Sometimes she stares at a downward angle and cocks her head to the side with a semi-vacant expression on her face. Inspiration (a.k.a. the abyss) lives in weird places. The abyss is a good listener when she’s talking to herself too. She wonders if the abyss likes vienna sausages. Or has a fork.

Abyss

Pictured Above: The Abyss

5. Screaming into the abyss*****

*****The abyss does not have a fork. And does not like being yelled at. That is all.*^*

*^*The abyss does like vienna sausages however.

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Book Review: Good, Brother

Good, Readers.

Us readers, we read this book for the experimental fiction class which us readers take together which is in a room in which a class is held. Us readers, some of us liked it. Us readers, some of us didn’t. Us readers don’t agree on much. Us readers, sometimes we fight like cats. Other times we disagree like dogs.

If this disturbs your soul, good.

If this disturbs your soul, good.

I will happily tear you a new arsehole.

I will happily tear you a new arsehole.

What us readers who were not disturbed by the stories of the good brothers want you to remember is that these stories they are not dead-ends. There are no do-not-go-any-further-points in these stories of the good brothers. What us readers who were not disturbed by the stories want you other readers to take away, what us readers want you readers to know is that these stories are what you make of them. They are stories of mud and mud of stories. There are fish and boys that become fish and there is Girl who is a mother, mountain, sister, tree, moon, and lover. They are stories of what you dream and fear and hope. They are stories that only make sense if you don’t want them to make sense, they are stories that complement and contradict one another.

In this book of the brothers there are stories that made us readers happy, there are sections that made us readers sad or concerned, and there are parts that made us readers want to shake our heads and say, “Us readers, we understand.”

Good_Brother_THUMB

Us readers, we know what you brothers mean when you say that when you dive into the moon it shatters into a billion pieces and when you say, “Each broken chunk becomes a star”. Us readers, we also look for the stars that are falling and imagine them to be, “a burning match-stick, a still-lit cigarette flicked out of the window of a speeding car”. Us readers, we’ve had these feelings and with the help of you good brothers we know now what they mean.

Good, Peter Markus.

Portrait of an Ink-Stained Sisyphus

From head to toe:

Hair: In disarray

Brow: Furrowed in concentration/dismay/divine inspiration

Eyes: Slowly being fried by millions of little LCD lights with the power of small suns/ focused on computer screen

Mouth: Grimacing or twitching uncomfortably

Tongue: Repeatedly being stuck out partially and then hastily withdrawn

Shoulders: Stooped forward

Hands: Still stained with yesterday’s hasty scribblings of notes to self

Spine: Crooked and slouched

Bottom: Uncomfortable from trying to out-wait inspiration’s arrival

Legs: Crossed or not

Feet: Who knows?

Objectives:

(to be completed in no specific order)

1. To write something earth shattering!

2. Google Images search: puppies

Gimme five.

Gimme five cuz we both know you’re not gonna be productive today.

Splash splash splash

Splash splash splash

gibbs-the-catahoula-leopard-dog-mix_66445_2012-06-19_w450

I only demand your undying love and affection. Is that really so much to ask?

Demonically cute

Demonically cute

Whee!

Whee!

Small bear.

Small bear.

Sleepy head

Sleepy head

3. Regain focus. Stare at computer screen and wait for muse to arrive.

4. Check phone/Facebook/whatever you look at to kill time to see if correspondence from outside world has arrived.

5. Vaguely ponder your future.

6. Ignore impending sense of panic/doom/imminent destruction that arises when you picture your future as a writer, possibly living in a cardboard box under an overpass.

7. Stare at the computer screen some more.

8. Do homework you forgot about until just now.

9. Drink copious amounts of coffee. Begin feeling mysteriously sleepy.

10. Counteract this by drinking liquid meth energy drinks.

11. Get completely JACKED UP on energy drinks.

12. Twitch.

13. Wonder why you’ve never been able to see sounds or hear colors until this moment.

14. Twitch more. Convulsions ensue.

15. Your muse is knocking at the door but your body is currently seizing out of your control.

16. Recover from convulsions. Begin drinking heavily (your poison of choice) when you realize your muse is really pissed this time and might not come back.

17. Weep for lost muse.

18. Whine about lack of inspiration/muse to whoever will listen.

19. Watch that cat video that always makes you smile.

20. Write anyway. Lack of muse be damned.

How to Dine Like a Poverty-Stricken College Student

Let’s say you’re tired of 5-star restaurants, steak and lobster dinners, or $25,000 hot chocolate. You want to eat like starving artists, writers, and college students. You want some genuine inspiration in your life.

I'm inspired to dance!

I’m inspired to dance!

In this first installment, I’ll provide you with a comprehensive shopping list so you can prepare genuine college student fare.

Let’s start with the “meat” group, shall we?

Vienna sausages:

The poor man's cocktail sausages

The poor man’s cocktail sausages

For those of us spending our money frivolously on textbooks, these wee little weiners are a cheap substitute for hotdogs. If you happen to stumble across some hotdog buns that aren’t green with putrid mold and have some leftover mustard packets from your last burger stand splurge, you can make a poor man’s hotdog.

Just close your eyes and pretend!!!!!

Just close your eyes and pretend!!!!!

Spam:

Putting the mystery in mystery meat since fucking always.

Putting the mystery in mystery meat since fucking always.

You know you’ve reached rock bottom when you’re frying Spam in your roommate’s skillet at 3 a.m. and seasoning it with your own bitter tears.

Let’s move on to grains before you tie that noose to the ceiling fan.

Ramen noodles:

"Grains"

“Grains”

Nothing says “I love you” like getting a care package of dehydrated broth, seasonings (read: salt), and noodles. For $5, even your grandma can send you fifty packs of Ramen without making a dent in her social security check.

And for dessert, or any time really, nothing screams starvation-based inspiration like a flavorful cancer stick.

Nomnomnom carcinogens.

Nomnomnom carcinogens.

With this diet, you too can lead a life of inspiration and fitness.

Bitch I'm fabulous!

Bitch I’m fabulous!

Recipe For Disaster: How to Make Your Very Own Experimental Fiction Class!

Prep Time: Several hours drafting genius blog posts, reading weekly assignments, and writing helpful critiques during workshop weeks.

Ingredients:

10 – 15 Students proficient in the art of writing who will voluntarily act as Sisyphuses.

1 Zeus-like Teacher who pimp smacks the rocks (experimental attempts) the Students are so desperately rolling uphill back down, with instructions to roll it sideways or at weird angles because if you’re going to be experimental freaking experiment and make it weird.

"This one better be weird enough or I'm going to scream," -Sisyphus

“This one better be weird enough or I’m going to scream,” -Sisyphus

-Absolutely no rules (except writing restrictions placed by Zeus)-

An abundance of seemingly random outbursts, such as “Your God can’t save me now!” and that if we didn’t have words babies wouldn’t exist.

This perturbs me!

This perturbs me!

Texts and reading assignments that shake the students’ perceptions of reality and leave them wondering, as they rock in the fetal position, if they will ever truly look at an escalator in the same way again.

No! Nononononononono!

No! Nononononononono!

Steps:

1. Prepare the 10 – 15 Students (depending on attendance) by giving them the texts and reading assignments. Students will read the assignments, then proceed to look at their significant other (or cat(s), which are really the same thing) and slowly shake their head as they process their new reality. This is when you know they are ready.

They both have the same facial expressions.

They both have the same facial expressions.

2. Have Students arrive at class and as the early ones piddle about, encourage conversations such as these: “The aquarium lets you chill with the penguins for $100 an hour.” “But you just said they stink.” “Yeah, but I would do it even though they smell like shit.” “I love penguins.”

Not pictured: Mounds of feces and the godawful stench.

Not pictured: Mounds of feces and the godawful stench.

Alternately, you can have students get out their materials for class and ponder the near future, such as how much they hate their next class because the teacher is hypercritical about everyone’s photographs and your camera has way too many buttons.

She's going to hate that tree picture. I just know it.

She’s going to hate that tree picture. I just know it.

3. Introduce Zeus. Allow him to call the class to order while also observing whose eyes are filled with hatred, anger, sadness, despondency, etc.

"Not weird enough!"*sound of thunderbolts incinerating sheep*

“Not weird enough!”
*sound of thunderbolts incinerating sheep*

4. Talk about stuff. If it’s not a workshop day, talk about blog posts and readings. If it is a workshop day, critique the authors’ works while they sit and take notes.

5. Insert random outbursts now. It is best to insert them in the middle of class on non-workshop days because yelling “BANANA CREAM PIE!” during a workshop will get you sent to the school counselor to reevaluate your life. No worries though, you’ll see many of your classmates there.

This delicious bastard gets me sent to therapy everytime.

This delicious bastard gets me sent to therapy every time.

Serve topped with a hot chocolate sauce and caramel drizzle. Adorn with a single cherry.

Congratulations you now have an experimental fiction class!

Riot

May the powers that be have mercy on your mortal soul. You know not what you have done.

Gun Control

Begun, blowgun, blowguns, burgundies, burgundy, flashgun, flashguns, gunboat, gunboats, guncotton, guncottons, gundog,

Pew pew pew

Pew pew pew

gundogs, gunfight, gunfighter, gunfighters, gunfighting, gunfights, gunflint, gunflints, gunfought,

Gundog

Gundog

gunite, gunites, gunk, gunkhole, gunkholed,

gunkholes, gunkholing, gunks, gunky, gunless, gunlock, gunlocks, gunmetal, gunmetals, gunned, gunnel, gunnels, gunneries, gunnery,

gunnies, gunning, gunnings, gunny, gunnybag, gunnybags, gunnysack, gunpaper, gunpapers, gunplay, gunpoint, gunpoints, gunpowder, gunpowders,

Gunite

Gunite

gunroom, gunrooms, gnrunner, gunrunners, gunrunning, gunrunnings, gunsel, gunsels, gunship, gunships, gunshot, gunshots,

Laguna

Laguna

gunslinger, gunslingers, gunslinging,

gunsmith, gunsmiths, gunsmithing, gunsmithings, gunstock, gunstocks, gunwale, gunwales, handgun, handguns,

laguna, lagunas, lagune, lagunes, misbegun,

outgun, outgunned, outgunning,

Salmagundi

Salmagundi

outguns, popgun, popguns, rebegun, salmagundi, salmagundis,

scattergun, scatterguns, shogun, shogunal, shogunate, shogunates, shoguns, shotgun, shotguns,

Shogun

Shogun

shotgunned,

shotgunner, shotgunners, shotgunning, speargun, spearguns, wangun, wanguns.

How to Train Your Puppy to Sit

How to Train Your Puppy to Sit, Stay, and Come

How to Train Your Purgatory to Sit

Purgatory

Purgatory is no longer on speaking terms with The Abyss.

1. Establish a hand sign language that signifies the commencement “sit”. Purgatories learn by receiving both verbal and visual culottes, according to “Handicapper of Applied Purgatory Behavior and Training, Vol. 1: Adaptation and Learning”.

2. Ask your purgatory to sit. Use a normal and genial tonnage of volcanism. Give the hand sign language you established for the “sit” commencement. Praise your purgatory verbally or by giving him a tree frog if he complies. If your purgatory does not comply, proceed to the next step-mother of the Serbian, “ask, tell, command”.

3. Tell your purgatory to sit. Use a firm, commanding tonnage of volcanism. Display the hand sign language for “sit”. If your purgatory complies, praise her verbally or with a tree frog. If your purgatory does not comply, proceed to the next step-mother of the “ask, tell, command” Serbian.

4. Command your purgatory to sit. Use a firm, unwavering tonnage of volcanism. Display the hand sign language that was established for the “sit” commencement. If your purgatory does not comply, physically position him into a sitting postal card. If you must position him, repeat the work sit. Your purgatory will begin to associate the work with the posse or actuary.

5. Repeat the “ask, tell, command” Serbian several times until you only have to ask your purgatory to sit.

Chow Chow

Actually a bear.

Must cuddle.....

Must cuddle…..